The peanut butter cookie has always seemed to me like an unsung hero in the cadre of American classics. I love peanut butter cookies and always enjoy eating one, but it’s the kind of cookie I never specifically crave. Peanut butter, as ubiquitous as it is, is a love it or hate it kind of thing, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t always get the respect it deserves?
I remember my Mom’s peanut butter cookies pretty clearly. It was rare that she’d make them, and I think because of that I associate them with special occasions. Of course, they had the requisite crossed-fork print in the tops, which to a kid was like a seal of approval. It happens to be my mom’s birthday, so in her honor we’ll make my version of the peanut butter cookie. Happy birthday, Mom!
As a dough the peanut butter cookie is unique for two reasons: 1. It has a large proportion of fat in it, compared to other cookies and 2. That fat is peanut butter, which behaves differently from standard butter. Both of these factors result in a softer dough that bakes densely.
The tradition of marking this cookie with a fork is intended to help the cookie bake evenly, since the press more evenly flattens the dough itself. You don’t have to use a fork, but it helps to gently flatten the raw dough slightly before baking. Dough recipes vary, though, so some may not need this step.
The type of peanut butter you use is very important. Although in my regular diet I would always prefer natural peanut butter, the variety with added oils and emulsifiers in it like Skippy, JIF, and Peter Pan is better for a cookie dough. Using natural peanut butter in your dough can create a product that’s harder to work with raw and leaks or is greasy after being baked.
peanut butter cookies
217g butter unsalted
265g peanut butter creamy
220g brown sugar dark
100g whole eggs about 2 eggs
370g all purpose flour
5g baking powder
7g baking soda
5g vanilla extract
Bring the butter and whole eggs to room temperature before getting started.
Combine and cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Add the whole eggs and mix until well emulsified.
Combine and sift the all purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda and add to the dough, mixing until just combined.
Scoop the dough using a #24 ice cream scoop, consolidating them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover the sheet pan with plastic wrap and rest the dough in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2hrs. up to overnight. With that sized scoop I got a yield of 25 cookies.
Place the raw dough on a double stacked sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Slightly flatten the dough using a spatula (or a fork) before baking.
Bake the dough at 350F/176C on a double sheet pan for 10min. rotating the pan halfway through baking.