Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

about 30 minutes
about 12-15 minutes
Makes about 24 cookies.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (or softened vegetable shortening for more shape)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter (use crunchy for more shape)
1/4 vanilla
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat an oven to 180C.

2. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.

3. In another bowl, beat together butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg until it is incorporated. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and chocolate chips. Then slowly add the flour mixture, mixing until a soft dough forms.

4. Shape the dough into little balls (2.5cm). Place about 5 cm apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper Use the tines of a fork to gently flatten the tops of the cookies, making a criss-cross pattern.

5. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the cookies and immediately transfer to wire racks to cool.

Sometimes a cookie is all you need to brighten up your day a little more. During busy weeks, like the one gone by, I often find comfort in the little things. Such a cookie break, or making homemade tea (…really, it’s the little things…mostly food related). I have been meaning to make something a bit savoury for the blog as I have been baking mostly sweet things lately, but I couldn’t bring myself to make the pomelo salad I was planning yet: 1. because I have yet to track down one ingredient in Cyprus and 2. because I craved cookie comfort. To give you an idea of the comforting things I have been up to this week, here is my comfort collage: it consisted of cookie comfort, converse comfort, homemade elderflower tea and favourite cook-book reading comfort and hot sage tea at my friend’s grandma’s house while I watched her make some traditional Cypriot food.  How was your week?

I love the fact that peanut butter is now more widely available in Cyprus.  Two years ago I remember I found it hard to track down. Store assistants would like at me like I was crazy when I asked if they carried “peanut butter”, sometimes pointing me towards the margarine section. But now I find it in pretty much every major supermarket. I should probably use organic peanut butter to make these cookies a bit healthier, but I have to confess I prefer the way the classic peanut butter tastes with these cookies. My preference is chunky peanut butter, because that helps the cookies hold their shape and gives them some crunch, but I used smooth peanut butter and the result is still tasty. In addition, I used butter in my recipe, but you could easily substitute the butter with the same amount of vegetable shortening – I just prefer the way butter tastes. Also, an extra note just in case anyone wants to try what I did: I also experimented with these cookies, and tried to place a “doily” pattern on top. But it didn’t work because the cookies ended up being too squashed and flat in the end, and didn’t take the pattern I wanted. (You can see a couple of these “flatter” cookies on the tray in the top picture above.) So I would recommend just using a fork to make a criss-cross on top – it helps the cookies keep their shape. I hope your Monday has started off OK and if not, maybe see if you can find some time to whip up some cookies! Happy Cyprus Cooking! xx

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Cyprus Cuisine

“Cyprus Cuisine”, published by Whitecap Books in 2021, is now available for purchase. Christina Loucas shares over 80 recipes that showcase the very best of Cypriot cooking.

Cyprus Cuisine