Have you ever struggled to make proper, American-style cookies? I have. A lot. So many recipes just didn’t seem to work out – I’d usually have dry, biscuit-like things more suited to use as door stops. Occasionally, I’d try a recipe that’d give me flat discs like soggy Frisbees that would all merge into one gooey mess. A delicious mess, but not very practical.
This is one of the first recipes to give me perfect cookies, every time. The key is to spoon them onto your tray, and then resist the urge to spread them out. They’ll take care of that themselves in the oven. Then, you’ll see them puff up in the oven, rising into little domes. If you touch them, you might think they’re a bit under-done. But have faith – when you take them out, the domes will collapse and leave you with perfect cookies, covered in those little fissures that let you know they’re going to be perfectly crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle.
First, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line a large, flat baking tray with baking paper (non-stick greaseproof paper).
If your butter isn’t soft, give it a buzz in the microwave. Mix your soft butter with your peanut butter and both sugars until smooth – you don’t want to cream them together, just mix them to combine.
Add your egg, and then beat it in with your wooden spoon until combined. Again, you don’t want it light and fluffy.
Finally, add in your flour, baking powder and chocolate chips and mix to combine. Be careful not to mix it any more than it needs, or you’ll have tough, bready cookies. If it’s too hard with the spoon, get your hands in there!
Use a teaspoon to scoop large, heaped lumps onto your tray. Remember that they will spread in the oven, so leave plenty space in between them. If you have problems with your baking paper sliding around all over the place, use a little dough in each corner to stick it down.
Bake your cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes – you’ll see them puff up, but they’ll collapse and go crisp when you remove them. You want them a very light shade of golden brown. Leave to cool before enjoying.
- Allergic to peanuts? No bother. You can make your own almond or cashew ‘butter’ by blending the whole nuts with a touch of oil and a pinch of salt. Just use this instead.
- For slightly thicker cookies, chill your tray of doughy lumps in the fridge for 15-20 minutes after scooping. This will stop them spreading so much in the oven.