White Miso Is The Unexpected Ingredient For Better Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter is a beloved staple that can make just about anything better, including something already quite fantastic like cookies. Have a plate of peanut butter cookies on the table and it's a guaranteed great time, even more so with the proper adjustments. The next time you're baking a fresh batch of these palm-sized treats, reach for white miso. As odd as it sounds, this Japanese condiment is the key to taking them from simply good to downright irresistible.

Whether you're familiar with Japanese cuisine or not, you've most certainly heard of miso before. This fermented soybean paste is integral to many soups, stews, steaks, salads, and countless other dishes that call for an umami touch. So how exactly does it fit into peanut butter cookies? Unlike red and yellow miso, white miso leans more toward the delicate and sweet side, which ties right into peanut butter's rich sweetness without starkly offsetting the overall profile.

The nutty, lightly salty tone balances out its umami notes, so even though there seems to be a mismatch in flavorings, everything still works in perfect harmony. After all the baking, what you end up with are perfectly tender, moist cookies fully showcasing the wonders of peanut butter. Hidden underneath the initial richness are subtly sweet, umami hints, making for a unique taste experience.

White miso paste and what else?

For a batch of 18 – 20 cookies, around one-third of a cup of white miso should be enough. You can add it alongside the peanut butter after you have mixed the butter and sugar. Whisk everything together for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth and seamless, then add the eggs, vanilla, and other ingredients as usual.

Since the white miso's scent is relatively light, there's still room for extra additions. As always, chocolate is a stellar choice. Whether we're talking white chocolate chips, dark chocolate crumbles, or a melted sauce drizzled over top, it's all great for layering in a bittersweet taste. Honey, on the other hand, is your best bet for weaving in an enticing sweetness. Ground ginger is worth a try for those who prefer a bit of spice to cut through all that richness.

Another great addition that plays right into the Asian cuisine inspiration is sesame seeds. Its deeply nutty tone beautifully complements the umami miso. Taking it one step further, you can opt for tahini and directly mix it into the batter with the miso paste. The toasted ground sesame paste lends an earthy, nutty depth that helps the cookies stand out.