Peach Pie Cookies: Hints from Charleston

If you’ve been reading for a little while now, you’ll remember that I went on one hell of a road trip last summer. I saw amazing sights, visited some of my favorite people, and maybe got a speeding ticket. Oh, and I drove a crap ton of miles. Luckily for me, the amount of eating I did was pretty comparable to the amount of miles I put on my car. In fact, on this particular trip, it was my goal to find all of the “famous” eateries I had always heard about, and try them for myself!

One of these places was King Street Cookies, in Charleston, SC. Upon walking in, you’re immediately hit with the smell that we all wish our Grandma’s kitchen smelled like. (To be honest,  my grandma was more of a Pepperidge Farm girl than a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie girl, but we’ll pretend for blog writing sake.) As I literally ran to the case, I saw that there had to have been at least two dozen varieties to choose from. While I went with the GW Cherry Tree (which I later created a better version of here), I saw something in that store that has been in the back of my brain ever since.  Fruit cookies! Apple pie cookies, blueberry cookies, etc. Now, these weren’t cookies that just had dried fruit pieces folded in. No sir, this fruit was fresh! 

Prior to this week, I had never thought of fruit and cookies going together. Sure, I might eat a piece of fruit to make myself feel better about eating a cookie, but that was where I’ve drawn the line. Until now. And, since we’re channeling the South already, I went with the obvious fruit choice…peaches. Without further ado, let’s continue our cookie month with Peach Pie Cookies. Peaches, pecans, toffee, all rolled into one (jumbo) cakey cookie that would make any southerner proud…I hope. 

We’ll start, like always, with the dry ingredients. In a medium sized bowl, toss together your flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. We’ll be using just baking soda here, as the desired result is a cakier cookie, as opposed to a tall and puffy one. The amount of cinnamon is pretty hefty as well, because of how nicely that flavor will complement the peaches later on. 

Now, we’ll move on to one of the best parts of making this cookie. The wet ingredients. More specifically, the butter. As much as I love a tall and puffy cookie, the creaming of the butter that comes with that, is often a nuisance. I mean, really, with Stella the Standmixer doing the work, I have nothing to complain about. But, melting the butter with Moira (my microwave, of course), or Stacy (my saucepan, duh), is normally easier. Whichever method you choose to use, melt your butter down and let it cool a bit. This will ensure that your eggs are not scrambled later on.

Once the butter is a bit cooler, transfer it to a mixing bowl, and add the brown sugar. When those are combined, add in the eggs and vanilla. 

The dry ingredients can then be added to the wet bowl, little by little. You’ll notice that once you’ve mixed them together, the dough will be much looser than other cookie doughs we’ve made. It’ll also have a glossy sheen to it. That’s all because of the melted butter, and will gradually change as the butter begins to harden. 

Lastly, mix in those diced peaches, pecans, and toffee pieces. You’ll want to make sure your peaches are cut pretty finely to ensure even baking. Large pieces will result in wet pockets that won’t cook through properly.

Now, I know that I am ALWAYS bugging you to chill your dough. And I ALWAYS mean it. But, if it were possible to mean it more than I have in the past, then I do right now. This particular dough is really soft. If you were to try to form cookies now, it’d be nearly impossible, and you would SURELY end up with peach pancakes. Real. Flat. Pancakes. Do yourself a favor. Put the dough in the fridge. Watch an episode of This Is Us. Mop up your tears. Re-watch the most heartbreaking parts on DVR. Mop up the tears again. The dough should be ready to work with by the end of that labor intensive task. At least that’s my assumption, since I’ve never done that before…

When forming your cookies, use your discretion. You could go with 3 ounce whoppers like me, or go 1-2 ounce normal cookies like other weird people. Just adjust your baking time accordingly.

Bake these guys at 325 degrees for about 16-18 minutes, or until they are just starting to turn golden brown on the top and around the edges.

After you’ve contemplated letting them cool, and maybe even failed at actually letting it happen, you’ll be ready to indulge on a treat that has “Georgia” written all over it. 

These guys are soft, through and through. Not only do the sweetness of the peaches, and slight saltiness of the pecans and toffee go really well together, but their contrasting textures also shine through as well. So, if booking a flight to the South isn’t quite feasible at the moment, bake up some of these guys; I promise, they do the trick.

Next week, we’re ending this fabulous month of cookies by giving a shout out to the girls who do cookies right. Until then, stay tuned and stay hungry!

Erin 

Southern Peach Cookies
The perfect cakey cookie, made with fresh fruit and nuts!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 3/4 cups flour
  2. 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  3. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  7. 1 ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. ½ cup finely diced peaches
  11. ½ cup pecans, chopped
  12. ½ cup toffee pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together, until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Whisk in the egg.
  5. Finally, whisk in the vanilla.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula.
  7. Mix in peaches, pecans, and toffee.
  8. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
  9. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to soften slightly at room temperature for 10 minutes if you've had it chilling for more than 2 hours.
  10. Mold into 3 ounce portions.
  11. Bake until slightly golden, for 15-17 minutes
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