This morning I woke up with a startling realization…I haven’t made peanut butter cookies in a very long time. I’ve made various other fancy peanut buttery cookie creations in the past year, but not the classic criss-cross-top kind. So it was time.
Honestly, the last real memory I actually have of making peanut butter cookies is back from my childhood. Like, probably 18 years back. My grandma was a pretty avid baker when I was little, and I loved eating all her treats. Sometime my sister and I got to help. This memory was one of those times. We were in my grandma’s kitchen, which was mainly decorated with all things BRIGHT orange. Like living inside a giant pumpkin. She was baking peanut butter cookies, and we girls got the job of making the criss-cross pattern on them before baking. One of the great mysteries of my younger years was how PB cookies got that design on them. It was like some secret magic thing that only adults knew. And then this one night, the mystery was solved…a fork. Whoa.
Some peanut butter cookies are crunchy, but these are definitely in the soft-baked realm. If you feel like going a little wild, they would be quite yummy as the ends of ice cream sandwiches. Just an idea. It’s really hot in Southern Cali today, so anything cold sounds especially wonderful.
Although these aren’t vegan, they ARE slightly healthy-fied. The flour in the recipe is part all-purpose and part white whole wheat – that sneaky kind of flour that adds a touch of nutrition. Basically, these cookies are health food. Right?
For cookie baking in general, I would recommend investing in silicon baking mats to line your cookie sheets with. They are totally worth getting, and really not all that expensive. More power to you if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t get frustrated with sizing and tearing parchment paper. I am not one of those persons. Silicon baking mats also help with heat distribution, so you’re way more likely to get even color (and prevent burning) on the bottoms of your baked treats.
Now, go get your fork and start the peanut butter extravaganza!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add both sugars and cream on medium-high speed until mixture is smooth and slightly fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. You want it to look light in both color and texture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, allowing each to incorporate fully. Increase the speed back to medium-high and mix for 1 minute. Add the vanilla and peanut butter, and mix until all ingredients are combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add to the wet ingredients while the mixer is running on low speed. Mix only until the ingredients are just combined - you want to avoid over-mixing. The dough will be thick.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper.
- Roll dough into balls (about 1.5 Tablespoons each) and place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Give them plenty of space. Using the tines of a fork, press into the tops of the dough balls to create the criss-cross pattern.
- Bake for 11 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges. Cookies will look puffy and still very soft when you remove them from the oven. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes, allowing them to "set" slightly, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- It's best to have all your ingredients at the same temperature when baking. Allow the butter and eggs to come to room temperature before use by placing them on your countertop for 1 hour.
- If your fork sticks to the dough while making the criss-cross pattern, slightly dampen the tines with water before pressing into each cookie.
- Cookies will stay fresh in a sealed container for several days.