Crunchy Peanut Butter and Sea Salt Cookies

I have a thing for peanut butter cookies, and I’m really picky about them.  They have to be peanut buttery and chewy, and preferably without the crunch of crunchy peanut butter or added peanuts.  I don’t like them too sweet either.  Oh, and they have to have a golden color, they have to be puffy and I just love the fork tine criss-cross on top.  How could anyone be so picky about a particular cookie!

This past month I have discovered a new version of the peanut butter cookie on three different food blogs.  First, I found it at Drool Factor, who found it at Almost Bourdain (my favorite food blog).  Then a little later, I found it at Iron Chef Shellie, which made me realize I’ve had enough of looking at this recipe, I just had to finally make it.

So what is this new version of the peanut butter cookie?  What first attracted me was the sprinkling of sea salt on top of the cookie.  Then, came the realization that this was not your average peanut butter cookie – this cookie had perfectly formed round edges and it was flat on top with no fork tine criss-cross.  This cookie dough requires a teensy bit of kneading, after which it is rolled into a log, refrigerated until firm, cut into slices and then baked.  How interesting!

I had one problem with the recipe though – the dough is supposed to be made using a food processor.  I don’t have a food processor.  Drool Factor, however, made these cookies by using an electric mixer, so I followed the directions on this post.  Everything went well doing it this way instead of in a food processor.

The only tip I can give you is to be absolutely sure that the log of dough has been refrigerated until it is very, very firm.  For me, it took longer than 3 hours (as recommended in the recipe).  If you try to slice the cookies from the log and the dough is not firm, the slices will all have flat bottoms and your cookies will not be round.  This might have happened to me… because someone was just so impatient!

As I already mentioned, I’m not really keen on crunchy peanuts in my peanut butter cookies, but I didn’t have a problem with them in these cookies.  If I made these again (and I probably will), I might use smooth peanut butter and add no extra peanuts at all.  I think it would still be very nice.  The texture of the cookies reminded me of shortbread, and without nuts in it, it would be even more like eating peanut butter shortbread!

The sea salt flakes on top were a delicious topping.  I used Murray River pink sea salt flakes.  I was a little concerned as to how the salt would taste if I were to eat these cookies with a cup of coffee or tea, but I’m happy to report that they couldn’t have tasted more perfect together.

The recipe seems a bit long, but don’t be intimidated – these are actually really easy!

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