Peanut Butter Cookies

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The peanut butter cookie has gone mainstream for a reason: It's salty and sweet and out of this world when served with a tall glass of cold milk—total comfort food. This version has a surprisingly light, crumbly texture.
—Excerpted from "The Cookiepedia: Mixing Baking, and Reinventing the Classics" by Stacy Adimando, published by Quirk Books.
Makes 3 dozen cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter*
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar for sprinkling
*Or chunky, if you prefer it. But avoid natural peanut butters, (unless you want to experiment) as they'll yield different results.


Step 1

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cream the butter and sugars for a minute or two until they look light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until combined.

Step 2

Add the peanut butter—get every last drop with a spatula—and mix until completely combined. The mixture will start to look silky and smell peanuty.

Step 3

Sift the flour with the baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture half at a time and mix on low speed just until combined. Now you’re in business.

Step 4

Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto lightly greased or parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets, leaving about 3 inches between for them to grow. Using a fork, press down on each ball of dough to flatten and create a cross-hatch pattern. Sprinkle the tops with a lot of granulated sugar.
tip: Try not to go much larger; the dough expands.

Step 5

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until they’re just starting to have golden hints around the edges. Take them out while they still look a little soft for a light, crumby cookie. Transfer the cookies onto wire racks to cool.

Step 6

More to try:
Double Peanut Butter Sandwiches—Press cookies extra thin with your fork before baking. Once fully cooled, fill with peanut butter filling
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies—Skip the granulated sugar and the cross-hatching. When the cookies first come out of the oven, use the handle of a wooden spoon to gently make a hole in the center of each. Drop about 1 teaspoon (or a little less) of jam into the hole. Wait about 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack with a spatula to finish cooling.
Peanut Butter Blossoms—Skip the cross-hatching. Just before baking, press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie.

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