I think I've mentioned in the past what a peanut butter fiend I am. Peanut butter and chocolate, or bananas, or a combination thereof, etc. always gets me swooning. But sometimes you just want a really great peanut butter cookie and that's all you need. I've tried many a peanut butter cookie in my day - if they're on the menu I usually go for it - and all have fallen a little short of what, in my mind anyhow, constitutes the perfect cookie. I don't like super crispy cookies, so the classic ones with the fork hash marks in the center are usually out. And I don't like them with chunky peanut butter, or too soft, or too big/thick, or too sweet, or too greasy. Picky, picky, picky.
So the other day when Johnny asked if I would make some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for him I decided to play around with the recipe. I whipped up the dough, and I made a sheet with no chocolate chips for myself and added chips to what was left for him. When those cookies came out of the oven I knew something special was going on. They were gorgeous. They smelled amazing. And they were perfectly cooked, fluffy and chewy in the center and crispy on the edges with just the right amount of sugar and peanut butter. I did it. I DID IT!!!
I'm in heaven. This is dangerous because now I want to bake them all the time. And I want to try substituting other nut butters or possibly even Nutella for the peanut butter and see what happens. But until then I will bask in the glow of having figured out the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe, and I'll enjoy sharing it with all of my readers. I'm including notes on all my processes so hopefully yours will come out just like mine.
The Perfect Peanut Butter Cookie
Preheat oven to 375, makes 3 dozen cookies.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 sticks butter, 1 room temperature and 1 melted (Trust me.)
1. I've never been a fussy cookie baker, so take all the above ingredients and throw them in a bowl, and mix together until combined.
2. While the oven preheats, cover an aluminum baking tray with tin foil. Black non-stick trays conduct too much heat and parchment paper will wick away some oils, so this combination is important. No extra greasing is needed.
3. Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, leaving 2-3 inches between each ball (I fit 12 to a pan). If you don't have one of these you can buy them on Amazon and I really recommend it. Having all the cookies the same size and evenly spaced makes a big difference.
4. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until just starting to brown on the edges. I have an electric oven and it seems like my 2nd tray of cookies got too done because the heating element came on after I removed and replaced the tray, causing the cookies to brown too quickly. If you have a similar oven, keep a close eye on them at the 12 minute mark. My first batch (shown in the photos) came out perfect at 14 minutes.
That's all there is to it really. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do!