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Peanut Butter Cookies

Ah, cookies again! It’s been a while. One of my young friends, Jessica Lawton, asked for my Peanut Butter cookie recipe a couple of weeks ago so this is especially for her. She spent a lot of time in my kitchen last time we lived at West Point and I’ve since seen photos of her impressive cooking. She certainly doesn’t need pictures to go with a list of ingredients, in fact what she needs in an apron award, but since I’ve taken up blogging no one ever gets a simple recipe!

Let me start by saying that I’m not a fan of soft waxy peanut butter cookies – the kind that often have a Hershey’s kiss on top. Those are so cute, but I really prefer the kiss and the cookie separately and I like soft centers with crispy golden edges just as much in a PBC as I do in any other cookie. So, here’s my version.

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup butter (the real stuff!)

2 eggs

2 ½ cups flour (and more at the end if needed)

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

Start with the butters and the sugars. I normally like to use chunky peanut butter or chop some peanuts to add at the end, for extra crunch but I don’t always plan well enough for crunch.

I was baking for a bunch of cadets so what you see in the pictures is double-batch quantity – a lot even for Darth.

Once the butter and sugar are creamed, add the eggs and mix again.

Then, add the fluffy white ingredients.

I could see the gleam in Darth Mixer’s eyes at the thought of flinging all of that flour across the kitchen, so I covered him with my absolute favorite dishtowel embroidered by my Aunt Mary. A chicken at the Kitchen Aid – yup that’s me. Darth won in his own way!

With peanut butter dough, the rules of great Ku-Ki-Do still apply. It has to be stiff enough to pull away from the mixer bowl into a chunk without a spatula or the cookies will be like pancakes. Sometimes with peanut butter you have to add more flour than the basic recipe calls for because not all peanut butters are alike.

When the dough is the right consistency, go ahead and form balls just like you do with other cookies and line them up on waxed paper. I love rows of Ku-Ki-Do!

As always, the cookie sheet should be preheated. This means that you have to make quick work of crisscrossing the cookies.

Start by dipping your fork in sugar to coat the tines.

Then each time I touch the cookie I re-dip the fork and try to shovel a little bit of sugar onto the tines so that it can be shaken off onto the cookie as I press down.

You have to be as quick as possible to keep from messing up the bottoms but a well-seasoned stone keeps them from burning. Put them into a 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on size.

Sometimes peanut butter cookies (and others) have a tendency to spread in unflattering ways on the stone, even when you’ve done your best with dough consistency. They come out of the oven looking life they’ve been in there having a nice big relaxing group hug. If this is the case you can use the spatula like a bulldozer blade to break up the party and push the edges back toward the center of the cookie they belong to before you try to pick them up from the stone. The process is kind of like a cookie tummy tuck and the separation of conjoined cookie twins all in one. While they’re hot, and still on the stone they are very pliable so you can reshape them quite a bit. I was having the group hug problem with this particular batch but as you can see I was able to corral them back into fairly appropriate looking shapes so you would never know if I kept my mouth shut…

…but peanut butter cookies are meant for open mouths!

Happy baking, and stay tuned – the leaves are almost ready to turn. Soon it will be Molasses Sugar cookie time!


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