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Just cookies!

I will often test-drive a cookbook by checking it out at the local library.  This has led to the purchase of "Pie" by Ken Haedrich, and the realization that I should not purchase "Ad Hoc At Home" by Thomas Keller.  The latest candidate is "Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies" by Alice Medrich.  I remember going to her iconic Berkeley dessert shop Cocolat in my 20's, and I was pretty sure this book would be a winner.  Sophie sure thought so, quickly making a grocery list.

                      Peanut Butter Clouds--they were heavenly....

 We made these during the marathon Momofuku Milk Bar weekend.  Surprisingly easy with all of 4 ingredients.  Never fear, the peanut butter will fold into the egg whites.  If you get a blob it may make it more difficult to pipe, but the cookies are all the better for it.

 3 egg whites at room temperature

 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

2/3 cup sugar

 1/3 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)

finely chopped roasted/salted peanuts

 Line cookie sheets with parchment and heat oven to 200F, positioning racks in upper and lower thirds of oven.   

Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in clean dry bowl of stand mixer.  Beat at med-hi til creamy white and hold soft peaks when beaters are lifted.  Beat on med-hi adding sugar a little at a time (1.5-2min) until whites are very stiff.  Drop small spoonfuls of peanut butter into batter and fold in gently.

 Drop by rounded teaspoons or pipe onto parchment.  Sprinkle with pinch of chopped peanuts if desired. Bake for 90 min rotating pans at the halfway mark.  Turn off oven and leave in oven until cooled completely. 

 Best brownies ever, seriously.  The pan is cooled in an ice water bath.  It's easier than it sounds and totally worth it.  Fudgy brownie lovers unite!  These are the Steve Ritual brownies. 

 From the crispy chapter.  Maya's lemon thins.  There were also a number of interesting tuiles in this chapter--but tuiles make me homicidal so we made these instead.  How good are these cookies?  We have 2 unopened boxes of Thin Mints in the house.  Enough said.

Totally Homemade--take that Sandra Lee

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