Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies get baked quite often at my house, because they're so delicious and absolutely addictive.  I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite recipe for this type of cookie, but truth be told I enjoy one that's crumbly and peanutty to no end.  Using an all-natural peanut butter in the dough amps up the flavor while enhancing the texture of this delicious treat (it has a marvelous sandy quality to it). 

I'm not exactly sure where peanut butter cookies rank in terms of America's favorite cookies, but I can safely say they're probably at the top of the list.  My recipe produces a thick cookie with the all too familiar crisscross pattern we seem to love stamping on them.  Bake these on days when you find your cookie jar empty (a dire situation indeed!) or as treats for the kids going off summer camp.  A batch of my peanut butter cookies will keep for up to one week, so they're perfect for packaging and sending via mail to those peanut butter fanatics in your life.  I've also included a special treat suggestion at the end of the recipe.  Intrigued?  Well then, let's start baking!



A stack of peanut butter cookies sitting on an early American pressed glass cake stand.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or regular granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies


Preheat your oven to 375° F.
Center the oven racks.

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and keep it ready.  In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the unsalted butter on medium speed for 30 seconds, just until creamy & smooth.  Stop the machine and scrape down the bowl with a spatula.


Add the packed light brown sugar, vanilla sugar (or regular) and the pure vanilla extract to the bowl. 


Cream the mixture on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.  The sugar and butter should be creamy and quite smooth.  Stop the machine and scrape down your bowl at least once during this process.


Add the egg and continue beating on medium speed for 1 minute more or until the egg is completely emulsified into the mixture.


This is what the batter should look like by now.  Smooth & creamy.


Stop the machine and add the peanut butter.  Stir it on low speed just until combined.  This will only take about 30 seconds or so.


At this point in the process, the mixture is unmistakably peanut buttery.  Add the flour, baking soda & salt and combine on low speed just until completely mixed.


The finished dough is fragrant and good.



On silpat or parchment-lined baking sheets, drop the cookies using a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop with a release mechanism.  I like staggering the placement of the cookies with 2" of space in between each one to give them room to spread.  Dip the tines of a solid fork into a small bowl of flour & crisscross the tops of the cookies, flattening them slightly.

Promptly place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes (11 minutes was perfect in my oven).  The cookies will just begin to brown around the bottom edges.  They shouldn't be allowed to get too brown or they will be overbaked and dry.  Watch them closely.  Repeat with the remaining baking sheets.


Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring them onto cooling racks.


Once cooled, the cookies can be stacked and set on the counter for people to enjoy or they can be stored in a cookie jar for up to a week. 



Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookie

If you want to enhance these cookies, flip one over and spread it with some of your favorite jelly or jam.  Place another peanut butter cookie on top and voila!

A P.B. & J. Cookie is definitely a good thing in my book.  These are decadent, so only 1 per person.  The recipe yields 15 sandwich cookies.  Once filled, the cookies should be eaten that day.   





I have yet to find a peanut butter cookie that doesn't meet with my approval.  Whether they're thin cookies studded with whole roasted peanuts or thick ones like these, I will try any peanut butter cookie and more than likely will love it.  Yes, even those sandwiched with a sweet peanut butter filling are welcomed in my home.  As to the brand of peanut butter I use in my kitchen I will absolutely keep mum.  It seems like so many people I know have very definite preferences when it comes to this, so stick with your favorite.  Most national brands produce all-natural peanut butters now with no added sugars or preservatives.  Look for them the next time you're at the supermarket.  These are such wonderful cookies to bake and I encourage you to try them soon.  Enjoy! 

2 comments:

  1. Hummmmm love peanut butter cookies.
    Can't wait to try these one.
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like peanut butter cookies too! So good with a little bit of jelly. :)

    David

    ReplyDelete

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