I’m suffering from thesis-induced cookie cravings… It’s a thing that happens to master’s students who find themselves behind a blank word document day after day. It’s actually quite a serious affliction! I know I’m supposed to be thinking smart things about literature and history and cultural memory right now, but all I can think about is cookies! Chocolate cookies, cookies with caramel, cookies with coconut, cookies with peanut butter and a dark chocolate drizzle, packed with crunchy, salted peanuts…
I’m actually making myself hungry right now!
So what do you do if you’re a procrastinating master’s student suffering from thesis-induced cookie cravings? You ignore that little voice inside your head that keeps telling you to stay behind your computer and read difficult articles you don’t understand anyway and you follow your heart, or, um, your stomach, and make yourself some easy, fast, delicious cookies to get you through another day of trying to come up with a few clever sentences that don’t sound completely ridiculous!
I have such an exciting life!
I wrote my bachelor thesis on white chocolate with hazelnuts, and I’m planning to write my master’s thesis on cookies. Probably these cookies! They are everything a peanut butter lover could wish for: first of all, they’re peanutty – duh! – they’re crispy on the edges but they have a deliciously chewy center, they’re packed with salted, chopped peanuts and the dark chocolate drizzle on top just knocks these babies out of the park!
Plus, they’re not too sweet! They also have that kind of peanutty savouriness to them. Which is perfect for “thesis-writing” people like me, because it fools you into thinking that you’re not eating sugar all day long, sitting behind your laptop, doing absolutely nothing except hitting the occasional key on your keyboard…
And bonus, bonus, bonus: they’re fast! Like: Superman kind of fast! Like: no need to chill the dough for hours and hours and hours fast! I’m telling you, these are some easy peanut butter cookies!
In fact, I whipped these cookies up in under 45 minutes! Mixing, shaping, baking, everything! Chocolate drizzle and all! That’s fast, isn’t it? And what does fast mean? It means that I have more time to sit behind my computer, feeling useless!
But it’s a good kind of feeling useless, because I now have cookies…
The only downside of having cookies as your primary companion – somehow Lucy never shows much interest in thesis-writing – is that they basically make it impossible to think anything besides “great cookies”, “mmmm” or “I should start selling these”.
Well, I guess that’s not entirely true… Sometimes, every hour or so, as long as I eat enough cookies, they do make me come up with something useful! I just wrote an entire paragraph riding my cookie sugar rush! It even contains difficult words, like ‘interdisciplinary’ and ‘multifarious’!
But don’t worry if you’re not in the middle of writing a thesis. I’m sure these cookies are also great when you actually do have an exciting life! And if you do, please let me know all about it, because like I said: I’m procrastinating and need things to do besides looking up thesis-related memes and songs…
- 113g (or ½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 220g (or 1 cup, packed) light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 130g (or ½ cup) smooth peanut butter, I used Skippy
- 1 egg
- 190g (or 1½ cup) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 80g salted peanuts, plus more to press into the tops of the cookies
- 60g (or 2 ounces) dark chocolate
- First, preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting).
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until creamed. This should take you a minute or so. Add the vanilla, maple syrup and peanut butter and mix until well combined. Add the egg and mix for a few seconds to mix it in. Don’t overmix the batter at this point! The egg should be barely mixed in, otherwise the cookies will get tough.
- Add the flour and baking powder and stir, using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, until combined. Roughly chop the peanuts. It’s okay if they’re still some whole peanuts in there. Set about a tablespoon of chopped peanuts aside to press into the tops of the cookies later, then fold the remaining peanuts into the dough.
- Roughly roll the dough into balls – that’s right: no need to chill the dough first - using 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Arrange the dough balls about 5-cm (or 2-in) apart on a baking sheet (mine was black) and press a few of the peanut pieces you set aside earlier into the top of each ball. Using a fork, gently press each ball down twice to create a cookie shape and that characteristic criss-cross pattern.
- Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature on the baking sheet. Once the cookies are cool enough to handle, transfer to a wire rack (you may need an offset spatula to remove them from the baking sheet) and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In the meantime, melt the chocolate in the bowl of a double boiler. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled cookies. Place the cookies in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
- The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy!