These peanut butter cookies are the epitome of peanut butter cookies. They were so perfect I don't even know where to begin. They were the perfect amount of sweet, they were the perfect density, had the perfect amount of give when you bit into them and, well, the perfect size (I made 'em kinda big).
I can fess up about all the cookies I've been making lately because they were for Mace's birthday. And since his birthday was Tuesday he's finally gotten all these scrumptious cookies in the mail. I suspect a lot of them are goners by now, because let's be realistic here, if you had a giant box of cookies staring at you every time you walked in the door, could you just ignore them? I didn't think so. Plus, I think the cafeteria food is starting to wear on him. If I could have sent him some of my falafel and pita bread I would have, but I think cookies were a pretty good stand-in for now.
So, back to these absolutely perfect cookies. I highly recommend using all-natural peanut butter in these. Any of the more commercial PBs like Jif or Skippy would be fine, but they have molasses and other sugars added to them so they'll add to the sweetness of the cookie. And plus, I think this tastes more like a peanut butter cookie rather than a cookie with some peanut butter added to it. This is the real deal.
Something else I'd like to talk about briefly is weighing ingredients while baking. I recently bought a digital kitchen scale and it has changed the way I bake. It is unbelievable the difference in weights 1 cup of flour can be and if you weigh your ingredients you will get more consistent baked goods every time. I am going to include weights in my baking recipes from now on, whenever possible, but I'll continue doing volume measurements too because I know scales aren't standard in a lot of kitchens.
Now...onto our feature presentation!
Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from flour by Joanne Chang
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1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (220 grams) brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (455 grams) chunky peanut butter, all-natural is best
2 2/3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
Cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed in a stand mixture fitted with the paddle. Cream for about 5 minutes or until mixture is light and creamy. On medium speed, beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in the peanut butter until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. On low speed, add to the butter mixture until all ingredients are just combined and dough is evenly mixed.
Ok, now comes the hard part, but you have to do it. It makes your cookies shine, I promise. Put the dough in an airtight container and put in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Okay, did you really wait at least 3 hours?
Preheat the oven to 350F. Drop the cookies in 2 tbsp sized balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand and then make the crisscross pattern on each with the back of a fork.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges are golden brown and the center is still slightly soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on sheet for 5-10 minutes, then put on wire cooling rack and...