When only a peanut butter cookie will do. Crisp, sugary outside with a soft tender inside. The best combo possible for cookie (or person?)!
Sometimes you have to have peanut butter. Really I shouldn't say sometimes since I pretty much have it every day. By the spoon, on a gas burner-torched tortilla with cheese (yup, try it sometime), as a pbj sandwich or on vanilla ice cream - peanut butter is perfection in my book. And these cookies? Well - I was on the hunt for the best pb cookie I could find. I kind of smooshed the best ingredient combos I could muster and this is what happened. Heavier on brown sugar because that brings the richer taste along with a healthy dose of vanilla and while the peanut butter is there it doesn't take over.
Which is why it's ok to make these peanut butter cookies cookies on a smaller scale and double them up with some chocolate ganache as shown here. I'll give you the size adjustments for the bigger versions and the sandwich versions. And you might notice that I have almost a burger sized sandwich one lurking around at the top of this photo. Yes, it's obnoxious - but some might say - NECESSARY.
Give these a try for your holiday cookie tray or to send to the college students in your life. And if you make them, let me know in the comments below! Enjoy!
TIPS / VARIATIONS
For a few:
I have halved this recipe quite successfully
Use a smaller scoop (like a melon baller) to form your cookies. All the other instructions apply. Follow the recipe below for the ganache recipe and spread about 1 tablespoon of ganache in the center of one cookie and top with another (sugar on the outside of course!).
classic peanut butter cookie
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, I use Skippy
- 2 tsp vanilla, real not imitation
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- 1 ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, I use Ghiradelli
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350°
- Combine butter and sugars in a mixing bowl. With a stand mixer using a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat until light and creamy about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and lightly blend using a whisk or fork.
- To wet ingredients, add eggs one at a time, beating lightly to incorporate. Add peanut butter and vanilla and mix until thoroughly incorporated about a minute or so.
- Mix in dry ingredients for about a minute but not too long so as not to overdevelop the gluten. The batter will be just a tad sticky.
- Using a 2” scoop, place 12 balls on to a cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar. * if making sandwich version, use a melon baller size scoop
- Bake for 5 min and then very lightly, press down with a fork to flatten a bit. Return to oven and bake for 6 minutes more. You want a slight edge of golden brown but the cookies will appear more on the soft side.
*If making smaller sandwich version, total baking time is approximately 7 minutes depending on your oven so adjust time above accordingly.
- Remove immediately and after 3 minutes or so, place on a rack for thorough cooling.
For Ganache (if making sandwich version)
- Heat whipping cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once bubbles form on the edge of the pan, remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate is incorporated. Pour ganache into a bowl (or can leave in pan) and refrigerate until thickened to the consistency of thick peanut butter. Spread onto cookies. If using for icing a cake or brownies, you can use it sooner.