November 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

These are such a classic cookie.

Some months ago, I promised a colleague that I would make peanut butter cookies for his birthday, which is coming up this week. Fortunately, I remembered ahead of time (for once), and so set about finding a recipe.

I looked high and low, and considered all kinds of exciting variations - some of which included chocolate, or oatmeal, or even quinoa (!), some of which were flourless, low-fat, or otherwise dietarily tweaked to suit what people are looking for these days. None of these were what I wanted, so I did what I should have done in the first place: dusted off my childhood recipe box, dug up the recipe that I have been making since I was eight years old (albeit, not recently), and made those.

They're awfully good.

I use smooth peanut butter, but you could use crunchy if the spirit so moves you. I am currently using an organic, unsalted peanut butter from the company "Nuts to You", which I'm finding to be an excellent cooking ingredient, and remarkably tasty just on its own.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes: 36 cookies
Total Prep & Cooking Time: 45 minutes

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup golden sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Those of you who have read other cookie recipes from my childhood will know that the directions actually written down are astonishingly brief. This recipes says "Press with fork and bake 10 minutes @ 350℉".

Here's a bit more detail, for those who want it.

Cream together the butter and peanut butter, either by hand or using an electric mixer. Add the sugar, and beat again. Add the egg and the vanilla, and beat again until nice and smooth. Stir together the flour, salt and baking soda, and add to the peanut butter mixture. Beat until evenly combined and there are no more streaks of flour.

Roll into walnut-sized balls, and place on ungreased baking sheets. Use a greased/oiled fork to press lines or crosses into the balls of dough, flattening them into disks. Bake one sheet at a time at 350℉ for 10 - 14 minutes, depending on your oven (and the size of your "walnuts"). When golden around the edges, remove to cooling racks.