One of my favorite homemade cookies by far, I have been trying innumerable peanut butter cookie recipes, all rather good ones, until I stumbled across this beauty from Smitten Kitchen, which naturally became a keeper. The amazing thing about this simple buttery cookie, which has to be American in origin, lies in its delicate balance of sweet and salty. Punctuated by a strong nutty flavor, it will instantly give you a lovely melt-in-the-mouth feeling owing to the high proportion of fat from the peanut butter, something I have to deliberately ignore if I can bring myself to enjoy a single cookie without being flooded with a burning sensation of guilt.

It remains a subject of much debate as to which of the two types of peanut butter, smooth or crunchy, yields a superior cookie but I would safely vouch for the smooth variety as it has given me consistently outstanding results with every batch. The traditional crisscross pattern, achieved by pressing the dough with a fork before it goes into the oven, gives the cookie its characteristic appearance; the cookie dough, being rather dense in texture, does not spread much during baking and maintains its decorative print while ensuring even browning.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup peanut butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 tablespoon full cream milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon sugar, for sprinkling

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

  • In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter together until fluffy. Add sugars, beat until smooth.

  • Add in egg and mix well. Add milk and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly.

  • Stir in peanut butter and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sprinkling sugar.

  • Transfer onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between the cookies for expansion.

  • Using a fork, lightly indent the cookies with a crisscross pattern, but do not overly flatten cookies.

  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone but they are not.

  • Cool the cookies on the sheets for one minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely. Makes 24.

Peanut Butter Cookies

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