- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Peanut butter
- Strawberry of raspberry jam
Baking can be intimidating. It doesn’t give you the same freedom as cooking does; what with the exact measurements, specific tools, and high risk for mishaps. So it’s easy for amateurs to shy away from making anything from scratch. Enter cookbooks such as Baking by the editors of Food52, a prominent food site in the US. These basic, introductory guides help first-time bakers take that first leap into using the oven.
Baking is a diverse collection of 60 re-imagined classic baked goods. Most of them are familiar, using ingredients commonly found in the pantry—with occasional curve balls like coconut milk and rye flour. These recipes, which were picked by the Food52 staff and their trusted community, are meant to be easy. None of them keep you in the kitchen for hours, nor require chef-level skills for professional results. The book is meant to be “your right hand whenever a good bake beckoned.”
… the real secret to successful baking is finding recipes that are guaranteed to turn out cookies, cakes, pies, and dinner rolls that not only taste much better than anything you could pick up from the store, but also make you smile involuntarily and maybe even bop up and down a little.
Our Senior Editor Jica, who describes herself as more of an eater than a baker, was on the look-out for a simple cookie recipe. But she didn’t want any normal chocolate chip cookie—to make, that is; she’ll eat a chocolate chip cookie any day. So when she found the Six-Ingredient Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies, she thought to herself “Why not?” It seemed easy enough. Plus, she welcomed the idea of putting the classic PB&J into cookie sandwich form.
True to the book’s advertising, the recipe was really easy to do. Jica didn’t even have to buy anything except for the peanut butter and jam, since most of the ingredients were already in our pantry. All she had to do now was mix everything together, then stick it in the oven. That said, she admits that she was still pretty nervous, mostly because she was unsure about portioning.
Her worries were validated after the batter spread wider than she intended while baking. Jica hoped to come out with macaron-sized cookies, but they ended up being gigantic (like ice cream sandwiches big). “It said ‘teaspoon-sized’ balls, and I didn’t even put a whole spoon’s worth! So I don’t know what went wrong.”
She was also pretty disappointed that the cookies came out all crispy, and not chewy as was promised. According to our Head Chef Kimmie, that might have been wrong advertising, since, based on the ingredients, you could tell that the recipe would produce crispy cookies—which was weird for a cookie sandwich.
Nonetheless, the cookies themselves were delicious. (Jica says she’d eat them as is.) Add in the PB&J and you’ve really got the flavors from the sandwich. Although, Jica warns you to spread the jam sparingly because her cookies, admittedly, were too sweet. “The recipe says to spread the jam ‘almost to the edge of the cookies,’ but that might be too much.”