This week, and honestly on a craving for eating peanut butter cookie dough, I decided to make peanut butter cookies. Since I came back from New York, Profe has been following me around nonstop and curling up in this circular pseudo-fetal position in my lap, on my bed, and burrowing into the blankets to snuggle with me on the couch. Drawing my inspiration from his warm, endearing, and cuddly shape, I decided to return to cookies as a comforting expression of our reciprocal love.
Also, in both weird and awesome news: I found my doppelgänger. We both write food blogs, prefer vegetarian food, particularly enjoy baking desserts, post pictures of our cats, have or are working on a bachelor's degree in psychology, and talk about how our food was received by our significant others and family in our posts.
Scrolling through her blog, I found the recipe for these cookies, adapted from Dana Treat, which she got from Baked (phew!). I actually stumbled upon "eat me, delicious" after googling the recipe for a lemon coconut cake, wishing to emulate the incredibly moist and delicious lemon cake a woman was sampling at the farmer's market yesterday. What I found was even more irresistible. These are certainly the best peanut butter cookies I've ever made, maybe the best that I've ever tasted, and oh man, they are incredibly addictive. Normally I can stop at a sliver of pie or a half a cookie, but I think I've eaten roughly about eleven cookies, not including delicious heaps of dough I ate, of course. I forlornly gaze every couple hours at the dwindling cookie supply, which is down to single digits in the jar. This recipe is amazing. Please try it for yourself and succumb to inevitable cookie overdose with me.
Recommended beverage: unsweetened soymilk and/or coffee with a dash of cinnamon. (Dipping the already soft peanut butter cookies in unsweetened soymilk is heavenly.)
Makes 30 large Cookies
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
(make sure you have really fine salt. I used fancy larger-clumped salt and as a result the first cookie I bit into was a little salty)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
(I used salted butter)
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
(I used 1/4 cup of light brown and 1/4 cup of granulated)
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
(I used about 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
(I always buy the peanut butter with the fewest possible ingredients. The peanut butter's label I use reads: "dry roasted organic peanuts, salt")
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat until just incorporated.
Add half the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats.
(I didn't grease or line the baking sheet, used a very thin spatula to transfer the cookies to the wire racks, and had absolutely no problems)
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared sheets, at least 2 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, very gently press each cookie down so it forms a very tall disk shape. Do not press too hard and do not press it flat.
Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with granulated sugar (I eliminated this step) and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time (I didn't do this either), until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the individual cookies to the rack to cool completely (Ashley of "eat me, delicious" said "although they are delicious warm" and I completely agree: I always prefer freshly baked cookies).