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Nancy Silverton shares the cookie recipe that changed her life

It was love at first bite.
/ Source: TODAY

Chef, restaurateur and author Nancy Silverton is dropping by the TODAY kitchen to bake up a couple of her all-time favorite sweet treat recipes from her cookbook, "The Cookie That Changed My Life: And More Than 100 Other Classic Cakes, Cookies, Muffins, and Pies That Will Change Yours." She shows us how to make her famous peanut butter cookies with toasted peanuts and mini olive oil cakes scented with orange and rosemary.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

I am happy to announce that the perfect peanut butter cookie has indeed been invented, but I also must admit that I am not the one who invented it. The base of them comes to you courtesy of Roxana Jullapat, a talented baker who owns the Los Angeles bakery-cafe Friends & Family. After tasting Roxana's cookie and falling in love with it, I decided to make them, using a recipe from her cookbook, “Mother Grains.” I don't know if it was the addition of sorghum flour (which Roxana says makes the cookies chewier), or the fact that they're perfectly under-baked, but they were absolute peanut butter cookie perfection.

They have a pretty crackle top and perfectly rounded edges, all hallmarks of success for this type of cookie. Most important, they really taste like peanut butter. I put a spoonful of peanut butter in the center and nestled a pile of salty, roasted Spanish peanuts on top to make them as peanutty as a peanut butter cookie can be.

Mini Olive Oil Cakes

Olive oil cake, a simple sponge cake made with olive oil instead of butter, is a Tuscan classic. I first had it about 30 years ago, while visiting a Tuscan olive oil estate where they served it for breakfast. I had never heard of such a thing, but it was love at first bite: so delicate and simple, and the flavor of the olive oil really came through. I must have eaten the entire cake, one little sliver at a time. It's that kind of cake.

As a home baker, you're going to love making this as much as eating it, because the batter is just so easy and forgiving. I bake it in decorative tea cake molds. For me, the best part of these is the delicate, golden, crunchy crust, and by making them small, I get more of that crust. You can use a mold as small as 2-tablespoon capacity or as large as a 4-inch removable-bottom tart pan.

If you like those delicious dessert recipes, you should also try these:

Spicy Molasses Cookies
Candied Hazelnut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies