But lately, things have begun to change, a Le Pain Quitoden will be opening in a few weeks, we finally have a couple of passable taco options, my favorite falafel truck makes a weekly appearance across the street from our office, and Num Pang, the phenomenal Cambodian sandwich shop is now just 3 blocks away. These changes aren't enough to stop me from bringing my lunch but I appreciate having options.
I stopped in Num Pang last week and discovered they've expanded their menu to include salads, bowls, and cookies. While I appreciate all of their new offerings, I was most drawn to their cookies (obviously). In particular their peanut butter ginger cookie. While it was passable (some may even say good), my immediate thought was I could make it better. So on Halloween I set out to make the kind of treat an adult would appreciate.
This is the resulting cookie. It is in no way shape or form your traditional peanut butter cookie, but that's why I love it so much. There are textures (crunchy nuts! candied ginger!) and there are bold flavors (cayenne!) but even with all of that, it's easy to love.
Crunchy Peanutpepper Ginger Cookies
Recipe adapted from Apt. 2B Baking Co.
Much like oatmeal raisin cookies, I thought peanut butter cookies were the ugly stepchild of cookies. Who wants peanut butter when they can have chocolate? Boy was I wrong. These were gobbled up by my co-workers. Clearly they are a crowd pleaser.
Makes about 2 dozen
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for pressing
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup natural, well-stirred unsweetened peanut butter
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup candied ginger, coarsely chopped
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cayenne, ground ginger, and baking soda. In a large bowl, stir the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Stir in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the peanuts and ginger.
Scoop the dough into 2-tablespoon balls and place on the prepared sheets at least 2 inches apart. Using a fork dipped in sugar, gently press a crisscross pattern in the top of each cookie, flattening it out to a 2-inch circle.
Bake until the cookies are light golden brown around the edges and on the bottom about 12 minutes minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the sheets on the racks, then move them to the racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 1 month.