Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Herbed Spätzle - And a Marble Cake in a Weck Jar - "Kräuterspätzle - Und Mamorkuchen im Weck Glas"

Different recipes for Spätzle (a type of egg noodle of soft texture) can be found in the cuisines of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Alsace and South Tyrol. In Germany, Spätzle are largely considered a "Swabian speciality" and are generally associated with the German states of Baden-Wuerttemberg (“Baden-Württemberg”) and Bavaria (“Bayern”). The word “Spätzle” is the Swabian diminutive of “Spatz”, literally meaning "little sparrow”.

Basic Spätzle dough typically consists of very few ingredients namely, eggs, flour, and salt. Sometimes water or milk is added to produce a thinner dough. Traditionally, the Spätzle are made by scraping dough off a wooden chopping board ("Spätzlebrett") into boiling salted water where they are cooked until they rise to the surface. They are then skimmed and kept warm. Since this traditional method requires quite some practice, a number of different devices were invented to facilitate the Spätzle making process. Some resemble a strainer/colander, or a potato ricer ("Spätzlepresse"), a food mill or a coarse grater ("Spätzlehobel"). Whichever method you choose, all of these devices still require you to drop the dough into steaming hot water.

Herbed Spätzle – „Kräuterspätzle“

(serves two – double or triple if you please)

2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp chives
1 tbsp fresh thyme
200 grams AP flour
some fine sea salt
4 eggs (L)
100 ml olive oil
80 grams of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
60ml homemade chicken stock (or store bought low-salt chicken broth)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
some freshly ground black pepper

Special Equipment

A spätzle maker (“Spätzlehobel”), a potato ricer, a food mill or a colander with 1/4 inch holes


1. Wash the herbs, dry well and put half of the parsley aside.
2. Chop the remaining herbs finely.
3. In large bowl combine the flour, chopped herbs and a pinch of salt.
4. With a wooden spoon stir the eggs into the dry ingredients and continue stirring until the batter becomes homogenous.
5. Cover the dough with saran wrap and let it rest for about thirthy minutes at room temperature.
6. Heat the olive ol in a pan and briefly fry the remaining parsley. Let it drain on paper towels and set aside.
7. After the batter had time to rest, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Place rimmed baking sheet close by.
8. Working with 1/2 cup batter at a time and using flexible rubber spatula, press spaetzle batter through 1/4-inch-wide holes of spaetzle maker or colander.
9. Boil until the spaetzle rise to the surface. Using skimmer, lift the spaetzle from the pot. Drain and place on a baking sheet.
10. Continue until there is no more batter left.
12. In a large skillet bring the stock to a simmer over medium-high heat and stir in the ice-cold and cubed butter until the sauce starts to thicken.
11.  Add the parmigiano and the spaetzle and stir gently until heated through.
12.  Season with some freshly ground pepper and serve adding a few fried parsley leaves as a finishing touch.

You can serve the Herbed Spätzle on their own, with a mixed salad or alongside sausages, chicken or some pork schnitzel. For the pork schnitzel I use pork tenderloin cut into medallions, dusted with flower and coated with eggs mixed with Dijon mustard and homemade bread crumbs. I fry the schnitzel in some oil and serve them with lemon wedges and some Dijon mustard.

Spätzle are always a big hit at our house, whether I make the herbed version, the regular version, with some swiss cheese and spinach or lightly fried in butter. Just make sure to rinse off your cooking utensils immediately after cooking. First rinse with cold than with warm water, otherwise the remains of the batter “will turn into cement” as one of my favorite cooks once said.

And for dessert why don´t you try baking your favorite Marble Cake recipe in a Weck jar…

…and do not forget to drizzle some chocolate over the finished cake. Baking in Weck jars of different sizes works very well and is a lot of fun.The cake always stays moist and has a nice rustic look, just the right dessert for a spaetzle and schnitzel dinner!

Guten Appetit! -  Enjoy!

Tuesdays with Dorie - Blueberry-Nectarine Pie

Today`s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie group is „Blueberry-Nectarine Pie“, a recipe that was contributed by baker Leslie Mackie.

The Blueberry-Nectarine Pie is a double crust pie filled with delicious blueberries and ripe nectarines and made with a flaky pie dough topped with turbinado sugar. The first step in this recipe is, of course, the  preparation of the flaky pie dough with a mix of really cold unsalted butter and vegetable shortening ( I used ice-cold lard), flour, salt and ice water. The dough can be made by hand, in a mixer or a food processor. I always make my pie dough by hand, that is just the method I like best. The pie dough has to be chilled for a good two hours before it can be rolled out. So there is plenty of time to prepare the filling of blueberries and nectarines.

The filling is cooked for a minute or two and then cooled before it gets added to the pie. I had never used that method in my pie making before. The filling consists of blueberries, nectarines, sugar, some AP flour, sea salt and freshly grated lemon zest. Only part of the fruit is cooked briefly and than the rest of the fruit gets added to the filling. That way you can easily adjust the sweetness of the cooked fruit All that is left to do is to let the filling cool.

After the dough has chilled and the filling has cooled, you roll out half and fit it in the pie plate (I used a glass pie plate).Then you add the filling, dot with butter, roll out the second half, trim, fold, crimp, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake until the crust is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling .

After the pie had time to rest you can enjoy a slice or even two with some vanilla ice cream!

I loved the flaky pie crust, it was easy to prepare and easy to roll out and it browned nicely in the oven. The taste testers all loved this pie especially with a bit of vanilla ice cream. They thought that the mix of blueberries and nectarines was wonderful, even better than just blueberries. I will be making this pie again – this recipe by Leslie Mackie is a definite keeper.

Our hosts for today's recipe are Hilary of Manchego´s Kitchen and Liz of That Skinny Chicken Can Bake - a big Thank You to both our gracious hosts!

To see how wonderful all the pies from the other talented Doristas turned out, please click here!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

French Fridays with Dorie - Lemon Barley Pilaf

This week´s recipe for the French Friday`s with Dorie group is Lemon Barley Pilaf. My grandmother used to put pearl barley (“Perlgraupen”) in her soups and I used to love the taste and the texture of the barley. I still do. There are two different kinds of pearl barley available in the stores, you can choose between fine or coarse barley. For this recipe I bought the fine barley – personal preference and it looks a tad more elegant.

There are only a few steps involved in the preparation of this recipe. You start by sautéeing the onion in a tablespoon of unsalted butter, then you add the barley to the onion and cook it for a few minutes. Then you cook the barley further by using homemade chicken broth and water. To the broth you add the bay leaf, simmer for 30 minutes, stir in the peas, scallions, lemon zest or, in my case, lemon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and you are done.

I believe the most difficult step when preparing this recipe was to decide what to serve the pilaf with. I decided to serve it alongside perch with tomatoes and fennel. The taste testers loved their lunch and really liked the pilaf with the fish.

Perch with Tomatoes and Fennel

Ingredients (serves four)
(adapted from Everyday Food July/August 2012)

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 large fennel bulbs, thinly sliced lengthwise, plus fronds or fresh dill for serving (optional)
fine sea salt
freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
6  large tomatoes, peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 pounds perch (or another fish of your choice such as halibut) cut into eight pieces/fillets


1. In a large skillet heat the oil and add the fennel. Cook, stirring frequently, until nicely browned, 6 to 8 minutes then season the fennel with salt and pepper.
2. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
3. In the same skillet, add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften and release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Briefly brown the fish on both sides (about one to two minutes per side).
5. Take the perch out of the pan and place it on top of the tomato mixture and season with salt and pepper.
6. Cover and cook until the fish is just done, about 8 minutes (depending on how thick the pieces/fillets of fish are). You could also transfer the pan to the oven instead.

To serve, divide the tomatoes and fennel among four plates, top with perch and sprinkle with fennel fronds, if desired. And do not forget to serve the wonderful lemon barley pilaf alongside!

We all enjoyed the taste of Dorie´s  lemon barley pilaf very much. But I guess, once again, we are not the most impartial of taste testers because we like barley served as a side-dish, we like it in our soup and we like it cold as a salad.

This is a recipe that is easy to put together and it leaves a lot of room for some wonderful “interpretations” such as adding different seasonal veggies, some leftover chicken, herbs from the garden, etc. So, yes, I will be making this again.

Have a great weekend!

To see how the other creative Doristas prepared the Lemon Barley Pilaf, please click here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Percoche Clafoutis

A few days ago while shopping, I saw these fuzzy peachy looking fruits with firm flesh. I had never noticed them before but they looked wonderful. So I bought a few and brought them home. The sign in the store read “Pfisich Aprikosen” (“peach apricots”), so I did a bit of research and discovered that they are actually called “percoches” and are indeed a cross between a peach and an apricot. They do look like giant apricots because of their color and because the peel of the fruit feels like an apricot but, at the same time, the fruits have the size of peaches. The flesh of the “percoches” is firm and less juicy than the flesh of regular peaches, they taste sweet and a bit tart at the same time.

For purposes of comparison, I put some apricots next to the “percoches”. A really interesting fruit and a nice choice if you are looking for something a bit different from the usual peaches, nectarines or apricots.

After the taste test, the next question was what to do with these fruits other than eating them raw, of course. The search proved to be a bit more time consuming than I had anticipated but I finally came across the inspiration for this dessert on an Italian blog. I guess somebody out there thought it was time for me to finally improve my Italian language skills again…it has been a while since I took these classes…In any event, it seems that these fruits grow in Italy and there are very few recipes that use “percoches” as a main ingredient. But this dessert is wonderful. It smells great, it tastes delicious, it has a rustic appeal and it is easy to prepare. So it will be a French recipe for some Italian fruits and I like it!

While by tradition, a clafoutis is a rustic French baked dessert with a custard-like batter similar to a pancake batter and specifically made with black cherries, you can create many clafoutis variations called “Flaungardes,” which include other fruits such as plums, prunes, blueberries, rhubarb or apples. But since the talented Italian baker that inspired this recipe called her dessert  " Clafoutis di Percoche", I decided to keep the title, and besides, I  believe that "Flaungardes" is not a commonly used expression.

Percoche Clafoutis
(as inspired by an Italian recipe from “cosacucino”)


1200 grams (about 2.5 pounds ) percoche, sliced but not peeled (about five fruits – you can also use peaches, nectarines or apricots in this recipe)
200 ml (7/8 cup = one cup minus 2 1/2 tbsp) whole milk, room temperature
400 ml (1.7 cups = two cups minus 5 tbsp ) half and half
6 eggs (L)
200 grams superfine sugar (7 ounces)
1 package of pure vanilla sugar or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
40 grams (1.5 onces) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled and some more for greasing the ovenproof dish

For serving
powdered sugar (optional)


1. Mix together the milk, the half and half, the eggs, the sugar, vanilla, the salt and the melted butter.
2. Butter an ovenproof baking dish or a cast iron pan (rather “lavishly”).
2. Pour the batter in the prepared 10 cup baking dish or pan (I used a large dish and doubled the original recipe) but you can use a smaller dish and half the recipe).
3. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for about 45 minutes to an hour.
6. The clafoutis is done when it is puffed and golden and a small knife plunged in the center comes out clean.

Serve while still warm with a dusting of powdered sugar if you wish and some lightly whipped cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.

"Uno non può pensare bene,
dormire bene,
se non ha mangiato bene."
(Virginia Wolf)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Styrian Potato Salad with Cucumbers - Steirischer Kartoffelsalat mit Gurken

Today I am posting a recipe for an Styrian potato salad. Styria (Steiermark) is a state (Bundesland), located in the southeast of Austria.

When I was a child, we used to spend our summer vacations in Austria - I loved the Austrian mountains, the lakes, the castles, the people and the food. Peolple used a lot of local produce in their recipes. They got cheese from the local cheese maker, fruits and veggies from the local farmers and honey from the neighbour. "Local" or "regional" was a way of life then, not a fad. Be that as it may, I remember the glorious food I ate in Austria vividly and nowadays I regularly prepare Austrian and Bavarian dishes for us. My family thinks they are delicious.

The recipe I chose for today´s post is a wonderful recipe and it is perfect for summer. It contains no heavy mayonnaise but, as is typical for Austrian or Bavarian potato salads, the cooked potatoes get coated with a warm dressing containing a homemade beef broth, onions, bacon and some other delicious ingredients.

As far as the Styrian aspect is concerned, I should add the following. Although the salad is wonderful without a “Styrian touch”, it does add another layer of flavor and makes it all the more special, so, just before serving, you can add a few drops of the famous Styrian pumpkin seed oil ("Kürbiskernöl"), toasted pumpkin seeds ("Kürbiskerne") and cress (or omit the cress and add flat leafed parsley).

Pumpkin seed oil is derived from cold-pressing roasted, hulled seeds of the certain varieties of pumpkins, most commonly the Styrian pumpkin. It is a specialty of Styria, a region that encompasses southeast Austria and nearby regions of Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. Cultivation of the Styrian pumpkin began in the late 1600s. Pumpkin seed oil has a rich green color and a nutty flavor and makes an excellent addition to the traditional Styrian salad dressings.

You can pair the potato salad with rustic meatballs ("Fleischpflanzerl"), schnitzel, chicken cutlets or on its own with pretzel ("Bretzel") or a country style loaf of  bread ("Landbrot").

Recipe for Styrian Potato Salad with Cucumbers (Steirischer Kartoffel-Gurken-Salat)
(serves 4)

Ingredients for the Potato Salad

1.5 pounds medium boiling potatoes, scrubbed well
2 Kirby cucumbers (or one English cucumber)
fine sea salt
5 bacon slices (5 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cup finely chopped onions
1 tbsp unsalted butter
6  tbsp white wine vinegar
½ cup beef broth (homemade if possible)
1 tbsp coarse-grained mustard (I used coarse-grained Dijon mustard)
3 tbsp sunflower oil (walnut oil is also wonderful particularly if you are not going to add the pumpkin seed oil “as a finishing touch” later on)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sugar
flat leafed parsley, finely minced (optional)

To add the “Styrian touch” (optional)

Pumpkin seeds ("Kürbiskerne")
Pumpkin seed oil ("Kürbiskernöl")


1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender when pierced with a paring knife, 20 to 25 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes). Transfer to a cutting board. Let cool. Peel and then slice thinly and set aside.
2. Peel cucumber(s), halve and seed with a small spoon. Then slice thinly, transfer to a medium bowl. Mix with two pinches of sea salt so that the salt can draw out the moisture from the cukes.
3. Roast the pumpkin seeds (if using) in a dry non-stick pan until they become fragrant. Set aside.
4. Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the chopped onions to the bacon and cook for three minutes more.
5. To the bacon mix, add the vinegar and the broth, then whisk in the mustard and cook for three minutes on moderately high heat.
6. Then add the sunflower oil to the pan, whisking constantly. You now have a hot dressing.
7. Immediately pour the hot dressing over the cooled and sliced potatoes and mix carefully but well.
8. Drain the cucumber slices and add them to the potato salad. Then add some freshly ground pepper and salt to the salad.
9. Put in the fridge for about two hours. After the two hours adjust seasoning if necessary and add some more pepper and salt to taste..
10. Just before serving, add a few drops of pumpkin seed oil, pumpkin seeds and cress (optional).

Guten Appetit! - Enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Radish Dip - The Colors of Summer and a Retro Feeling

Summertime, radish time. Radishes (“Radieschen”) are very popular around here. People love to eat them with their sandwiches, as a snack with some salt, at dinner time, at lunch time, all the time. And I had my share of them when I was growing up. I always liked their sharp taste and their crunchiness. We always ate them raw, never cooked.

People used to carve radish roses and put them on the dinner table or display them prominently on the buffet table. But how many different ways can you carve and cut up a radish. Nowadays, at our house, we eat them roasted, cooked or braised and I have even grilled some. I will put them on Asian inspired salads or make them part of an antipasti platter but, somehow, it had never occurred to me to use them in a dip, so when I saw the recipe for Radish Dip,  I just had to give it a try. I bought two bunches of the round red radishes for this dip.

There are so many radish varieties in the stores and markets these days. They are available in spring, summer and fall. There are white, red, or violet ones, long ones, round ones. They carry such fancy names as “White Iciles”, “Purple Plum”, “Spanish Black” or “China Rose”.

But the widely popular little red ones (also called “Cherry Belles”) seem to be best suited for this dip. The recipe for the Radish Dip is extremely easy and quickly prepared – I chose to use one of my favorite oils, extra virgin lemon olive oil, instead of the lemon zest and it was delicious. According to the owner of the local oil mill (yes, there is one in the City of Bonn), lemon olive oil was discovered in Italy “by chance”. After the olive oil was pressed, the owners of the mills used lemons “to clean” the millstones and when they carried on with the oil making process, the olive oil had a delicious, citrusy smell, hence, the lemon olive oil was born.

Radish Dip
(as adapted from Martha Stewart Living, May 2012)

Ingredients for the Radish Dip

Two bunches of red radishes (about 25), julienned, plus whole radishes, for serving
1 1/4 cups sour cream
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp extra virgin lemon olive oil (you can also use the zest of  one lemon and then skip the oil)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill


1. Combine the julienned radishes, sour cream, feta, lemon olive oil (if using) and juice, salt, and dill.
2. Put in the fridge for about an hour while you prepare the Zucchini and Summer Squash Fritters
3. Serve with whole radishes and cucumbers and/or as a topping for the Fritters.

The Radish Dip is also nice as a topping/dip for some delicious Zucchini and Summer Squash Fritters – we loved them . A bit more time consuming to prepare than the Dip but well worth a little bit of effort. You can also prepare them for a crowd and keep them warm in the oven for a while.

Zucchini and Summer Squash Fritters 
(as adapted from Martha Stewart Living, March 1999)

Ingredients for the Zucchini Fritters

1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest (from an organic lemon)
10 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves finely chopped,
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs (L) lightly beaten (organic or free range if possible)
1/2 cup AP flour


1. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the zucchini and squash into a medium bowl.
2. Add the salt, lemon zest, chopped parsley, garlic, pepper, and eggs. Mix well to combine.
3. Slowly add flour, stirring so no lumps form.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
5. Carefully drop about 2 tablespoons zucchini/sqush mixture into pan; repeat.
6. Cook the fritters until they are golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
7. Reduce the heat to medium. Turn fritters, and continue cooking until golden, 2 to 3 minutes more.
8. Transfer the fritters to a plate and set aside in a warm place.
9. Cook the remaining zucchini mixture, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.
10. Serve with Radish Dip and vegetables. You can also serve them with lemon wedges.

We all thought that the Radish Dip together with the Fritters and some summer veggies made a wonderful and light summer dinner/lunch and besides I finally got to use my “retro” style of serving dish (with veggies décor) that I found at a flea market a few weeks ago! It reminds me of the those radish roses...

Friday, July 20, 2012

French Fridays with Dorie - Salmon with Basil Tapenade

This week´s recipe for the French Friday`s with Dorie group is Salmon with Basil Tapenade. The ingredients for this dish already sounded delicious to me. What is not to like about a recipe that requires you to use fresh salmon, homemade black olive tapenade, basil, lemon, pepper, salt and some olive oil.

My fishmonger had wonderful Norwegian salmon and he cut perfect fillets from the thick center portions (no filleting any flounder required for this recipe, and I was relieved). I ended up buying enough fish to feed eight people, it was easy to double the recipe. I prepared the black olive tapenade and added fresh basil, lemon juice, pepper and fine sea salt. Since I made the tapenade with extra virgin lemon olive oil, I did not add lemon zest to the mix. I cut two pockets in each piece of salmon, filled the incisions with the basil tapenade, gave each piece a “little massage” (that was Dorie´s idea, not mine!) and cooked the salmon exactly as specified in the recipe.

I served the salmon with miniature new potatoes, more of the lemon olive oil, extra tapenade and a small purslane salad. All of the taste testers were extremely pleased with the way the salmon tasted and loved the taste of the tapenade, mini potatoes and purslane salad together with the fish. This recipe is definitely a keeper and it scored extra points for ease of preparation. This is simply a wonderful recipe!

What a treat!

Purslane (“Portulak”) - since I love the taste and look of this unusual salad, here is a wonderful quote with respect to purslane that I found  while doing a bit of research on salad recipes: “ You might run across purslane, with its glossy, plump leaves, at a farmers market—and you might even find it growing in the cracks of your sidewalk or in your yard. Luckily, this incredibly nutritious and juicy green is a weed, which means it pops up wild nearly everywhere”. Ian Knauer, Gourmet, August 2008

To see how the other Doristas prepared the Salmon with Basil Tapenade, please click here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chunky Peanut, Chocolate, and Cinnamon Cookies. And "Blanche Dael". And, tadaa!, my 100th blog post.

One of my favorite cookies to bake are “Chunky Peanut, Chocolate, and Cinnamon Cookies”. They certainly are crowd pleasers. The cookies combine three wonderful flavors that remain recognizable in the baked cookies. They are ever so slightly crunchy on the outside, even more so,  if you choose not to chop the peanuts too finely and they are moist and chewy in the middle, not dry. Just the way we like our cookies.

As is the case with all recipes, the better quality ingredients that you use, the more flavorful the cookies will taste. Apart from a really good peanut butter and good quality chocolate, I love to use freshly roasted peanuts. The original recipe calls for salted peanuts but we prefer unsalted nuts in our cookies.

People enjoy eating nuts and love to snack on salted peanuts. It is a popular habit to nibble on this snack while watching television. The nuts can be found everywhere in vacuum sealed plastic or foil packages as well as in tins but not freshly roasted. There are not too many places around here that roast fresh peanuts right in the store in front of your eyes.
But we found a wonderful place while we were visiting Maasstricht, a city that I have mentioned a few times before in my blog and that we love to visit quite often. It is situated on both sides of the Meuse - Maas (Dutch) river in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands, on the Belgian border and near the German border.

The store is called “Maison Blanche Dael”, a Maastricht-based coffee roasting company (www.blanchedael.nl). As I mentioned in one of my previous posts ("Bookshop made in heaven"), this coffee roasting and tea packaging company was founded in 1878 and, to this day, is a purveyor to the Royal Dutch Household. In addition to selling coffee, tea, sweets, chocolate and whimsical teapotts and cups, Blanche Dael is also famous with the locals as well as tourists for roasting peanuts in their coffee roasting maschine.

Customers are always intrigued by the fact that the store roasts nuts as well as coffee beans and enjoy watching the roasting process and the smell when they enter the store. I always make sure to buy a few bags of the peanuts for munching on during the drive back home for baking and for gift giving. And I just love the way the store´s paper bags look like, kind of old-fashioned, in a good and familiar kind of way.

Once I bring the peanuts home, I make sure to shell and chop them the day after I bought them…

… I believe that they taste the best when used as soon as possible.

Chunky Peanut, Chocolate, and Cinnamon Cookies
(as adapted from Martha Stewart Living November 2005 and Martha Stewart´s Cookies, published March 11, 2008, page 179)

Ingredients for the Cookies

2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, preferably from Ceylon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (I used Calvé peanut butter, a Dutch brand – www.calve.nl)
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 eggs (L), free range or organic
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I did not use chocolate chips but chopped Lindt Excellence 70% )
2/3 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (I always use unsalted and freshly roasted nuts)
1 package pure vanilla sugar or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt, and ground cinnamon in a medium bowl.
3. Put the butter and peanut butter in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until combined, about two minutes.
4. Add the light-brown and white sugars and mix for about two minutes.
5. Mix in the eggs.
6. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
7. Fold in the chocolate, peanuts, and vanilla until well distributed.
8. Refrigerate the dough until it is slightly firm, about 15 minutes.
9. Roll dough into 1-inch balls (I always use an ice cream scoop instead) and space the dough balls 2 to 3 inches apart on your baking sheets lined with unbleached parchment paper or silpat mats.  If you wish, flatten the dough slightly (I do not find that step necessary) and chill the remaining dough while baking one sheet at a time.
10. Bake until just golden, about 11 to 13 minutes,depending entirely upon your oven but do be careful not to overbake or the cookies will become too dry.
11. Transfer the baked cookies to wire racks to cool  - no need to let them cool completely, they taste delicious while they are still a bit warm.
12. Serve with milk or tea and enjoy.

I absolutely love this recipe. The cookies are delicious and have a great peanut flavor. The whole family enjoys them and they are easy to make. 

It is nice to be able to use freshly roasted peanuts from a place that you know but, of course, that is not absolutely necessary and you can play around with this recipe a bit too by using a different chocolate, for example, or you could choose to use salted peanuts and chop them as coarsely or finely as you wish.

And if you prefer peanut butter cookies without chocolate but with a twist, like a well-known hazelnut spread, you could also try the Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies.

Serve these cookies with a tall glass of milk or some tea or with vanilla ice cream or just as a snack. Whichever way you choose to serve them, I am sure that these cookies will be a success!