This week I've made two unremarkable things with rhubarb. And this has made me really sad. The first - a hazelnut and rhubarb crumb cake - I was sure would be the most awesome thing that has landed on this planet in a while, but the recipe did something strange with egg whites and instead of following my instincts, I followed the recipe. FAIL. My friend Amy and I still ate some on a Monday night with big cups of tea and listed its merits, but it was too dense, too wet and just not quite right.
To remedy this, I threw together an apple and rhubarb crumble for supper with my friend Sian. It came out of the oven all golden and bubbly, the rhubarb's magic juices creeping up through the crumbs around the side. But come dessert time, we tucked in and I realised I hadn't put quite enough sugar in to balance the fruit. FAIL. Like the crumb cake, it had its merits and Sian and I still ate a bit.
I realised the next day that really, I just have polite friends. Rhubarb: why are you doing this to me?
I made these as a remedy. There's at least three good (as in sensible, healthy etc) things about these cookies: they're gluten free, they're dairy free and they contain a good hit of that magic paste known in these here parts as PB. All sounds good right? But listen. These cookies are made from peanut butter, chocolate, sugar and not much more. And they're completely, utterly addictive. There going to have me in fine form for the truffle shuffle in no time. If you're worried about this, a good idea might be to stick all those dollars you save from baking your own homemade cookies into a little tin beside the telephone. Stick a piece of masking tape on the tin, and in a thick black marker, print 'PERSONAL TRAINER FUND'. And accept my apologies. These cookies are all kinds of wrong.
As you might imagine, without flour they're very, very short, but they have a surprising crispness and a perfect resistance when you bite in. After you take a bite, the really fine crumb melts on your tongue and lets the deep brown sugar and roasted nut flavour explode in your mouth, until you hit a chocolate chip and then it's all over. Totally evil. Also, they're the easiest things in the world and they don't have rhubarb. Rhubarb, hear this: I'll get you my pretty. You and your little dog!
Chocolate chip peanut butter cookies
Note: I've included the original recipe with regular peanut butter here, but wanted to note that actually I used a natural, organic and salt free peanut butter because it is what I had on hand. To compensate, I added a good pinch of kosher salt to the mixture. But whoa Nelly - that organic peanut butter and it's supremely golden roasted goodness really took these over the edge in terms of flavour. Just an idea...
1 cup (or 260g) crunchy peanut butter
1 cup (or 200g) brown sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (or 185g) dark choc bits
1. Pop oven on and set to 200°C. Line two trays with baking paper.
2. Combine peanut butter, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and egg in a bowl, then stir in choc bits. Really tough, huh?
3. Dampen your hands and then roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls, lining them up on the trays. Press the top of each cookie lightly with a fork to flatten slightly. Into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until they're a gorgeous light golden colour. Leave to cool on the trays (don't try and move them hot - they're fragile!). To store, get them into an airtight container as soon as they're cool. They'll stay nice and crisp.