Skinny Peanut Wafers
About 28 wafers
Five mornings a week I go to a gym and work out with a personal trainer. (He's tall, dark, and handsome, and his name is Jean-Claude.) Almost every afternoon—while I was writing this cookie book—I stayed home to bake cookies and write recipes. When I went to the gym the next morning, I brought the cookies I'd baked the day before. I have never made any cookies that everyone raved about with such ecstasy and abandon as all the trainers and athletes at the gym do about these Skinny Peanut Wafers. They say, "These are the best cookies in the world! These are the best cookies I ever ate!" (Agreed, these men might be starving for sugar. But aside from that, the cookies are truly wonderful.)
These are extremely thin wafers, crisp, crunchy, chewy, divine. They will remind you of peanut brittle. They are easy, fun, and very special. They could be served at the most elegant event, or at the simplest. You will need Pam or some other non-stick spray.
4 ounces (1 cup) salted peanuts
plus optional additional peanuts to use as topping
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sifted unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg graded "large"
2 tablespoons milk
Adjust an oven rack to the center of the oven (these will be baked only one sheet at a time). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you have cookie sheets with only one raised rim, these are best for this recipe; otherwise, use any cookie sheet turned upside down. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil, shiny side up. (Do not use heavy-weight foil-the cookies won't bake well.) Set aside.
Place the 1 cup of peanuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade. Add a few tablespoons of the sugar (reserve remaining sugar). Briefly pulse the machine 10 times to chop the nuts into coarse pieces; some will be powdery, some coarse, some still whole-OK. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small pan over moderate heat; set aside.
Sift together the flour and soda; set aside.
Place the egg, milk, melted butter, and the reserved sugar in the small bowl of an electric mixer and beat until mixed. Add the sifted dry ingredients and the chopped peanuts and beat again until mixed. Transfer to a shallow bowl for ease in handling.
Spray a foil-lined sheet with Pam or some other non-stick spray.
Place the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls (not heaping) on the prepared sheet, placing the mounds 3 inches apart (I place 6 on a 12 by 15-1/2 inch sheet). Try to keep the shapes neat. Top each cookie with a few of the optional peanuts, or with as many as you can fit on the top of each cookie.
Bake one sheet at a time. After 5 minutes, reverse the sheet front to back. The cookies will rise up, spread out, and then flatten into very thin wafers with bumpy tops; they will spread out to 3-1/2 to -4-1/2 inches in diameter. Total baking time is about 8 minutes. The cookies should bake until they are golden brown.
Remove from the oven. If the cookies have run into each other cut them apart immediately, while very hot. Cool on the sheet for a minute or two. Then slide the foil off the sheet. Let the cookies stand until they are firm enough to be removed. Then it will be easy to peel the foil away from the backs.
As soon as they are cool store in an airtight container.
Maida Heatter's Brand New
Book of Great Cookies
by Maida Heatter
Recipe reprinted by permission.
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This page created December 1998; modified November 2006