Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Sign #3242953 that baking is taking over my life: it's 11 pm on a Wednesday. I want a cookie. No, scratch that, I need a cookie. While my former self would have languished in disappointment that I was not in possession of anything resembling a cookie, present-day Amy hopped off the couch and stormed the kitchen on a mission. A cookie mission.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I decided on these peanut butter cookies simply because I had all of the ingredients on hand. And, as a bonus, this was my first time making traditional, crisscross-y PB cookies. I never quite grasped how fun--and cathartic-- it is to make that crisscross with a fork until I got to do it 2 dozen times. That night, I not only got my cookie (or 24), but I now have a new cookie recipe in my pocket. Crisis averted!

Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
Makes 24 cookies
Printable Recipe

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup extra-crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup dry-roasted salted peanuts, chopped fine

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 350. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the peanut butter until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chopped peanuts until just incorporated.

4. Working with 3 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Make a crosshatch design on each cookie with a fork, dipping the fork in water after you do each cookie to prevent sticking.

5. Bake the cookies until the edges are golden and the centers have puffed and are beginning to deflate, 10-12 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking.

6. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.


grace said...

is the criss-cross cathartic? yes. is it required? heck yes. i refuse to call anything without that tell-tale criss-cross pattern a true peanut butter cookie. :)
never fight those baking urges, amy--it's futile. :)

Four Lease Ranch said...

I love a good peanut butter cookie. Paired with a big glass of milk. Sounds like lunch to me! :)

Delicious Dishings said...

Ha ha! I do that all the time. I'll be sitting on the couch, and all of a sudden I'll be like -- I want to bake something. My boyfriend doesn't even try to talk me out of it anymore... he just tries to sway me to bake something he likes. Ha ha.

A chef I worked with at the bakery told me the crisscross started as a way to identify PB cookies in relation to other types of cookies. The easiest way to do it is to make the "crisses" across all the cookies and then go back and make the "crosses." A time-saver from someone who has had to bake 3 to 4 pans of them a day at the bakery. :)

Ms. Wife of the Year said...

I feel like there is really no problem in the world that a peanut butter cookie can't solve.

Unknown said...

ahhhh~comfort food at it's best! i feel as if i could reach out and grab a PB cookie from your photo as a treat for studying...if only!

Kathleen said...

The criss-crosses on pb cookies always makes me happy! These look and sound perfect!

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