When it comes to cookies, most people fall into one of two catagories: crunchy or chewy. I tend to favor chewy cookies. This recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies from The Grand Central Baking Book bakes up a cookie that is buttery, peanutty and somewhere in between crunchy and chewy. I surprised my kids the other day and had a batch waiting for them when they got home from school. I was the coolest mom ever…until it was time for them to do homework.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a peanut butter cookie so I’m not the best judge as far as this cookie’s peanutiness (is that a word?). While they may not be as peanutty as some I’ve had, I preferred the texture to most peanut butter cookies I’ve tried. I recently gave some to a friend who said she doesn’t normally like peanut butter cookies. After trying a bite, she said she went on to eat two cookies. I guess that’s a pretty good sign!
Grand Central Bakery Peanut Butter Cookies
-recipe from The Grand Central Baking Book by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson
This cookie is exactly what you’d expect from a classic peanut butter cookie: nutty, sweet, and soft in the middle, complete with emblematic fork crisscross on top. Unlike some peanut butter cookie recipes, this one is equally successful and delicious whether you use natural peanut butter or an everyday brand name. Be sure to stir natural peanut butter thoroughly before measuring it to distribute the oil. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (2 teaspoons if you use unsalted peanut butter)
1 cup (8 ounces, or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 cup (9.5 ounces) peanut butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Prepare to bake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the dry ingredients: Measure the flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. (Put the dry ingredients through a fine-mesh sieve if the flour or baking soda is clumpy.)
Cream the butter, sugar and peanut butter: Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture is lighter in color and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and cream for another minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl several times during the process.
Incorporate the eggs and vanilla: While the mixer is running, crack the eggs into a liquid measuring cup and add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, then slowly pour in the eggs, letting them fall one at a time and incorporating the first egg completely before adding the next. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once during the process.
Add the dry ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients (in 2 to 3 additions) with the mixer on low speed. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once, to fully incorporate the butter and sugar.
Shape the cookies: Scoop the dough into balls the size of pingpong balls (about 1.5 ounces). Arrange the dough balls on the prepared pans, 6 per pan. Lightly dust them with granulated sugar before pressing with a fork to make a crisscross pattern, and then press the cookies into ½-inch-thick disks.
Bake: Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. The tops of the fork marks and the edges of the cookies should be brown and crisp and the middle should be soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets.