Peanut Butter Cookies

This week’s “Sunday is for Baking” recipe is peanut butter cookies! Peanut butter cookies are one of those treats that define childhood for me. There was at least one plate of these at every birthday party, family reunion, church potluck, and holiday party I can remember. With peanut butter cookies, people fall into one of two camps. You are either in the camp that likes them crunchy or the camp that likes them chewy. I am definitely in the chewy camp (the correct camp. For me, a good peanut butter cookie needs to be soft, tender, and slightly chewy. Here’s how I make my version of this classic dessert:

Start by adding the peanut butter and butter to a mixing bowl.

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Using a mixer (or a whisk and a lot of elbow grease), beat them together until they are fully combined.

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Add in the brown sugar and beat until there are no more lumps.

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Then, add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat everything together until it’s creamy and fluffy.

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And that’s it for the wet ingredients!

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In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder). Some people like to sift the dry ingredients together, but I find that it’s really unnecessary for most doughs and batters. I prefer to save myself the time and extra dishes and simply lightly mix my dry ingredients together.

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Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

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Mix everything together using a spoon or spatula.

The danger in using the mixer for this last step is that you put yourself at risk for over mixing your dough. An over mixed dough will lead to a flatter, less fluffy, less chewy cookie. If you’re not careful, over mixing your dough could turn a chewy recipe, designed for those in the correct cookie camp, to have to be given to someone who sits in the crunchy cookie camp.

The horror!

To avoid disaster, I always prefer to hand-mix this last step.

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Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.

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Then, use the tines of a fork to create that classic peanut butter cookie design.

Are peanut butter cookies allowed to have different designs?

If it has a different design, is it even a peanut butter cookie?

How will people know that it’s a peanut butter cookie if it doesn’t have this design??

These are the conversations I have with myself while making peanut butter cookies. I like to focus on important issues.

To create this classic design, gently press the fork into the batter, then turn the fork 90 degrees and press it into the batter again.

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Once the cookies are all decorated, put them in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 11 minutes or until they just start to brown.

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Remove them from the oven and admire the peanut buttery goodness!

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I love the way the little ridges in the design get slightly darker than the rest of the cookie. I think it adds character.

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Move the cookies to a rack to cool.

Enjoy at least one cookie warm with a tall glass of milk. This is not a suggestion, it is essential to the recipe. At least that’s what I try to convince myself.

Really though, how can you say no to a warm, soft, chewy cookie?

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Share them with your friends! Bring them to a church potluck! Take them to a family reunion! Every gathering needs at least one plate of these beauties. Be the hero that brings the soft and chewy kind so all people in the correct cookie camp will be happy.

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Happy eating!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 2 dozen 2 inch cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut buttter
  • 2 tbs butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Cream together the butter and peanut butter until smooth.

Add in the brown sugar and beat until combined.

Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir together with a spoon or spatula until everything is combined.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Using the tines of a fork, create a criss-cross pattern on eat cookie by gently pressing down, then turning the fork 90 degrees and gently pressing again.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until they just start to brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a rack.

Peanut Butter Cookies

 

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