Do my friends read my food blog?
We’re about to find out. See, I had this idea of buying cookie tins and making a whole assortment of holiday cookies to bring to friends around L.A. a la Melissa Clark’s latest NYT piece. But then I thought: it’s Covid, am I really going to drive all over L.A. dropping off cookies when there’s a stay-at-home order? Plus: if I’m going to make a full assortment of cookies, isn’t that a lot of butter and a lot of time and, honestly, wouldn’t I be better served making the cookies for myself and taking pictures and telling YOU about them? I’m a terrible person; good thing people don’t read this part anyway.
Somewhere, during this dark journey of the soul, I stumbled upon this recipe for Miso Peanut Butter cookies, also from The New York Times. The idea intrigued me, especially because I had yellow miso in my refrigerator that’s been a major player in my kitchen lately.
The recipe calls for chunky peanut butter, but I only had Skippy creamy. Still: I was feeling adventurous. (Note: I’m a firm believer in using synthetic, commercial peanut butter in cookies vs. the natural stuff. Don’t @ me!)
The dough comes together like a dream: you cream the butter and sugar, you add your miso and peanut butter, plus an egg and a healthy dose of vanilla, and then you use an ice cream scoop to shape into balls and roll around in Turbinado sugar.
You refrigerate for a few hours, then pop into the oven. The funnest part? After baking, you drop the tray on to the counter to flatten them, pop them into the oven for another few minutes, then drop the tray again so they get all crinkly.
These cookies are INCREDIBLE. They’re creamy, moist (I know you hate that word), but crispy on the outside and they have so much flavor from the peanut butter and the miso.
The miso, in fact, is one of those ingredients that makes something taste better without you being able to identify why (see: anchovies). I don’t recommend putting anchovies in your cookies, but miso? Absolutely.
So, in conclusion, I still might make cookie boxes (if my friends are reading, they’re definitely not reading this far, so they’ll be surprised) and if I do, these cookies will definitely go in them.
Or I’ll just make another batch just for me! I’m the worst.
Miso Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup white miso paste I only had yellow and that worked fine.
- 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter Smooth worked fine for me; I recommend commercial peanut butter in cookies.
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup Demerara or Turbinado sugar
Whisk together the dry ingredients: the flour, the baking soda, and the baking powder.
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
Add the miso and the peanut butter and mix for another minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add your flour mixture and mix on low until just combined.
Pour the Demerara or Turbinado sugar into a bowl. Using 1/4-cup ice cream scoop, scoop out dough, roll into balls, drop into the sugar, coat on all sides, and place on to a lined cookie sheet. When finished, place the cookie sheet into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 350. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 15 minutes: they’ll get all puffy in the middle. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and DROP it on to your stove top to flatten the cookies. Place the sheet back in the oven for another 3 to 4 minutes; they’ll puff again and look crisp on the edges. Take it back out and PLOP again on to the counter. It’ll make the cookies crinkly.
Let the cookies cool for a bit… then eat them! Or give them away. Up to you.
Frosted Holiday Cookies (Melissa Clark, NYT)
Unfussy Sugar Cookies (Smitten Kitchen)