Cookies aren't a substitute for a solid meal. But they sure are a great way to end one! So celebrate the end of the week -- or savor the weekend -- with one of these tempting treats.
Peanut butter cookies: The Buttery's take on peanut butter cookies, massive enough that you almost need two hands to hold them, is at once rich, sweet and perfectly crumbly. Each cookie is garnished with a coating of dry-roasted peanuts around the edge. It's like a little bit of peanut butter heaven with every bite.
Brown butter cookies: Browning butter will give any dish — from savory sauces to creamy icings and glazes — added depth with rich, nutty notes. These cookies are no exception. Crunchy on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside, these cookies are wonderful. But taking the extra step to brown the butter makes them that much better. Make an extra batch, because they'll go quickly.
Ooey-gooey double chocolate cookies: Have your napkins and a big glass of milk at the ready for this recipe. Three types of chocolate are folded into this rich cookie dough, which is baked just long enough for each cookie to set up on the outside while remaining oh so "ooey-gooey" inside. Messy? Yes, but perfectly so.
You can find all three recipes below.
And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE BUTTERY'S PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling time for the dough
Servings: 8 to 10 large cookies
Note: Adapted from the Buttery in Santa Cruz. Baker's sugar, a super-fine granulated sugar, can be found at most grocery stores, as well as at cooking and baking supply stores.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon baker's sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (6.4 ounces) pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter over medium speed just until creamy. Add the sugars to the butter and cream together, careful not to over-mix. Scrape down the bowl to make sure the sugars and butter are evenly combined.
2. Beat in the egg just until incorporated, then beat in the peanut butter, scraping down the bowl again after mixing.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
4. Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, beating until smooth and the flour is evenly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, making sure the ingredients are combined and smooth.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a rough log, approximately 2½ inches thick. Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper and roll the dough in the paper so it is smooth and a consistent 2½-inches thick throughout the log. The log will be about 9 inches long.
6. Place the peanuts in a rimmed cookie sheet and gently roll the dough in the peanuts to coat on all sides. The peanuts should stick to the log; if they don't, brush the roll with a beaten egg, then roll it in the peanuts so they stick. Wrap the finished log in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the cookies into 1-inch thick slices and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them at least 3 inches apart, as the cookies will spread while they bake. Bake the cookies until set and browned around the edges, about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking for even coloring. Cool the cookies, still on the baking sheet, on a rack until set and cool enough to handle.
BITTERSWEET TREAT'S BROWN BUTTER COOKIES
45 minutes. Serves 18 to 24
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) butter
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and continue to cook until the solids have lightly browned and the butter has a nutty aroma, 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool to room temperature.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the butter and sugar with a spatula. Mix in the salt, egg, yolk and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just until combined.
5. Scoop the cookies using a 1-ounce scoop or rounded spoon onto a baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart, and bake until golden-brown and firm on top, about 15 minutes.
Each serving: 148 calories, 2 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 5 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 28 milligrams cholesterol, 16 grams sugar, 63 milligrams sodium.
Total time: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling time for the batter
Servings: 1 1/2 dozen
Note: Adapted from Bret Thompson of Milk in Los Angeles.
1/4 pound (4 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet chocolate (chunks or chips)
1. In a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
2. In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a fork, combine the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Mix just until incorporated and set aside.
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients and mix just until combined, then stir in the bittersweet chocolate.
5. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill thoroughly. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Divide the dough into 18 portions. Grease your hands (to prevent the dough from sticking) and shape the portions into balls. Place the balls on a greased, parchment-lined sheet pan, leaving 2 to 3 inches between each.
7. Bake until the edges of the cookies are just set and the center is still soft, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Place the cookies, still on the parchment, on a rack and cool completely before serving. They will be very soft.
Each cookie: 251 calories; 4 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 18 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 42 mg. cholesterol; 92 mg. sodium.