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How to bake really chewy cookies

I go back and forth, trying to decide whether I prefer chewy cookies or crisp ones. More often than not, I’ll take the crispy cookies because most cookies that claim to be chewy don’t really end up being exactly what I had in mind. There are exceptions to this general rule, like these Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, but there is only one type of cookie that will consistently turn out to have a good chew: peanut butter. If you bake the cookies at a low temperature, they will develop an appealing and addictive chew. The problem here is that they are peanut butter flavored. I finally figured out how to get around that and still achieve the same chew.

The secret? Cashew butter.

I made some homemade cashew butter on Slashfood and used it in a standard peanut butter cookie recipe. I usually make mine crispy, but this time I took a tip about baking time from Elise to try for chewy ones.

The cookies turned out perfectly chewy and, incredibly, you couldn’t taste cashew at all. The flavor is so mild, lightly sweet and vaguely buttery, that it just blended into the cookie! Everyone was asking how on earth I ended up with such chewy cookies. Of course, you’ll have to diclose your “secret” to anyone with a nut allergy, but otherwise you can try this with chocolate chips, raisins, or any other add-in you like in your cookies.

Really Chewy Cookies with Cranberries
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup cashew butter (homemade or storebought)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or chocolate chips, etc)

Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg, followed by the cashew butter, and beat well. Add in dry ingredients with the mixer on low speed, mixing until just combined. Stir in dried cranberries (or chocolate chips).
Shape into 1-inch balls and flatten slightly onto a cookie sheet, leaving enough room for them to spread.
Bake for 14-15 minutes, until just beginning to brown on the edges.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen.

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  • chicopants
    December 5, 2006

    These look very good. They look chewy. I’m hearing you on the chewy thing:)

  • Brilynn
    December 5, 2006

    I’ve been looking for a recipe that can accomplish this! Thanks!

  • Julie
    December 5, 2006

    I personally love chewy cookies. And you’re right about that amazing texture of a peanut butter cookie. I can’t believe you can’t taste the cashew! I guess I’ll have to try for myself. It also makes me want to try something with almond butter to see what happens.

  • Naomi
    December 5, 2006

    I can’t wait to try that. I love chewy cookies, and can never manage to have regular butter around…

  • Bakingfreak
    December 5, 2006

    hmmmm really interesting idea!

  • Kristen
    December 5, 2006

    Oh… I love a chewy cookie. Actually, I love a chewy cookie with a slightly crispy edge.
    I’ve never even heard of cashew butter (where have I been??). I’m going to have to give it a try!

  • Abby
    December 5, 2006

    YOu know, I really think that the quest for the best c.c. cookie recipe is like trying to write the great american novel!

  • Precious Moments
    December 6, 2006

    yipee, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. I love chewy cookies.

  • Patricia Scarpin
    December 7, 2006

    Nic, these cookies look delicious!

    I should give them a try and bake them for my sister and my brother – I’m sure they’ll love it!

  • doodles
    December 7, 2006

    and all along I thought it was the use of brown sugar to obtain a soft chew??? !!! A must try.

  • cay
    December 8, 2006

    Hi Nic I was just wondering if you can make an entry about the best baking shops in L.A?

  • valchemist
    December 16, 2006

    I tried these today (with chocolate chips) and they are very good. Definitely chewy as advertised. I really like the texture. And I love the taste, too. But good thing I like cashews because the cashew taste in my cookies was definitely prevalent. no question about it. I made my own cashew butter, so not sure if that made any difference.

    anyway, thanks for the recipe. my FIL loves cashews and he will love these cookies on my Christmas tray.

  • Madaboutbaking
    March 11, 2007

    Cashew butter in cookies sounds really nice. You can also use almond butter or any other nut butter you like. I’ll definitely try the cashew butter, although it’s rather expensive where I live. Any fat and sugar will keep your cookies nice and chewy (I know, the unhealthy stuff).

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