My brother is the most impossible person to find gifts for, so last Christmas I gave him a cookie tin and some coupons, each good for one batch of peanut butter cookies (his favourite). Since our kitchen was under renovation for the first few months of the year, I only recently had the chance to make him his first batch. I love how they look very homemade with ragged edges, instead of being perfect little circles - so much cuter that way!
I want to find the ultimate peanut butter cookie recipe, and I guess selfishly I'm using his present as a means to do that. But really it's not that selfish considering that I'm just trying to make the best peanut butter cookies possible for him, right? Anyway, the cookie has to be really peanut butter-y, maybe a bit crumbly, and chewy or soft. The recipe I used for this batch I found on epicurious and had high hopes for since it got an 87% make again rating.
The texture of the cookie was pretty awesome - kind of soft and chewy but not that really buttery chewy, almost like a super dense cake chewy. These cookies were different than other peanut butter ones I've made before - still undecided on whether this is a good or bad thing. Also, the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of vanilla but being me, I think 2 teaspoons - why not 3 teaspoons?! Vanilla is so delicious and makes everything better! Well I have now learned that extra vanilla in a peanut butter cookie recipe makes for a weird and off taste. It's possible that this is close to the ultimate recipe, but I won't know for sure until I make them again and stick to the recommended amount of vanilla (and maybe add some chopped up peanuts?). I also wonder what difference it would make if I used all natural peanut butter instead of Kraft, since it specifically says to not use those kinds.
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies
(Adapted from Bon Appétit, January 1998)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned style or freshly ground)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Using electric mixer, beat butter, peanut butter and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Beat in sugars. Scrape down sides of bowl. Stir half of dry ingredients into mixture. Add eggs 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix in remaining dry ingredients.
For each cookie, roll 1 heaping tablespoonful of dough into 1 3/4-inch-diameter ball. Arrange dough balls 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using back of fork, flatten dough balls and form crosshatch design on tops. Bake cookies until dry on top and golden brown on bottom, about 14 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen. (My note: I think it made about 2-3 dozen for me, but then when I make cookies it's always less than what it says it will make.)