Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Serves: Makes about 3 dozen cookies
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
  • Views: 16880
  • Comments: 30

Variations: Peanut Butter Cookies with Hershey Kisses (Peanut Butter Blossoms); Peanut Butter Cookies with a Peanut Butter Cup; Chocolate Frosted Peanut Butter Cookies; Peanut Butter Tassies; Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies and photo by kake © Sarah Phillips 

Ah, what is more "homey" than Peanut Butter cookies. This is my mother's recipe, adapted from the Betty Crocker cookie book. Peanut Butter Cookies are some of the most popular drop cookies or soft dough that is simply dropped from a spoon onto the baking sheet and baked for less than 15 minutes. This recipe makes a "chompy" cookie with a peanut-butter flavor. As with any cookie recipe, the secret is to get the dough the proper consistency otherwise the cookies spread, puff in the oven and then collapse or become too dry and flavorless. You can make Peanut Butter Blossoms from them. I also have a recipe for the iconic Peanut Butter Blossoms.Try my Thick-with-a-Chew Peanut Butter Cookies! I created an alternative cookie recipe using almonds instead of peanuts called Sheri's Crunchy Almond Cookies.

It is not until the early 1930's that peanut butter was listed as an ingredient in cookies. The 1931 edition of Pillsbury's Balanced Recipes contains a recipe for Peanut Butter Balls. It instructs the cook to roll the dough into balls and press them down with the tines of a fork. This practice is still common in America today.

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spoon into dry measuring cup and level to rim
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, can be cold from the refrigerator
1/2 cup (Crisco) shortening or unsalted butter
1 cup crunchy peanut butter; I use Smucker's Brand in the jar (16 ounces yields 1 1/2 cups) well stirred; measure in dry measuring cup and level to rim SARAH SAYS: For more flavor, use crunchy p'nut butter, but you can use smoot
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed; can substitute light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, can be cold from the refrigerator
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Extra granulated sugar for rolling

1. Preheat the oven and prepare the baking pan: Position one oven rack one rung up from the middle and another one rung down. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

You’ll need at least two, preferably four UNGREASED noninsulated cookie sheets or sheet pans; do not grease them. Instead, you can cover them with parchment paper (not waxed) or a silpat (silicone) mat liner, if desired.

2. In a medium bowl blend the dry ingredients and in another, the sugars: combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, combine the sugars.

3. Cream the butter and sugar: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on low speed with a paddle attachment until softened. Add in peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Add the granulated sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until light in color and creamy. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl often.

4. With the mixer still on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and mix until just incorporated. Add each egg and mix for 20 seconds before adding the next. Turn off the mixer when done.

5. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add in the flour at the side of the bowl.

SARAH SAYS: Mix the dough only until it is stiff and slightly sticky - NOT dry otherwise the cookies will be dry. Stop mixing when you reach this point. Do NOT overmix!

6. Shape the cookie dough into 1- to 1 1/2- inch sized balls. (Make them all the same size per baking pan so they bake evenly) A #40 cookie scoop is the perfect size. Roll in granulated sugar to coat.

Place on sheet pans with a silpat, parchment paper or regular ungreased pans, about 2-inches apart. For my 12- x 18- inch sheet pans I place them three deep by four across on my parchment paper or silpat mat.

Traditional with peanut butter cookies make a crisscross hatch pattern, with a fork.

Or make a pattern with a cookie stamp. This pattern for these cookies, also shown at the top of this page, was made with a meat mallet pressed against the cookie dough before baking.

7. Bake cookies for approximately 13-15 minutes until they JUST start to turn golden. Be sure to rotate the pan in the middle of the baking time. You want the tops to just start taking on color, and still be a "hair" puffy and moist. When you take the cookies from the oven, they will flatten and show tiny cracks.

Cool the cookies in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. (This allows the cookies to firm up.) Then, transfer cookies with a metal spatula to a wire cake rack to cool completely. If baked on parchment paper, cookies can be cooled right on its surface; slide the paper with the cookies on top to a wire cake rack to cool. Remove cookies when cooled.

Store cookies in airtight containers or freeze wrapped in plastic zip bags in a plastic container. This dough does not freeze well.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Hershey Kisses (Peanut Butter Blossoms)  
Peanut Blossom Cookies are a peanut butter cookie with a Hershey's Chocolate Kiss sitting happily on top.
Form cookies into balls on cookie sheet and do not press with a fork. As soon as cookies come from the oven, begin pressing unwrapped Hershey Kisses into the center.
After you have pressed about 1 kiss each in 7 cookies, go back to the first and give it a little wiggle to help place the melted chocolate into the cookie. I find this helps it to stay in place a little better. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet pan, or transfer with a spatula, carefully to a cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Cookies with a Peanut Butter Cup 
Instead of a Hershey's chocolate kiss pressed in each baked cookie's center, use a miniature Peanut Butter Cup.

Chocolate Frosted Peanut Butter Cookies  
You can frost the cookies with melted Hershey's chocolate kisses. Form cookies into balls on cookie sheet and do not press with a fork. When the cookie comes from the oven, immediately place 2 kisses on top. When they both soften, use a knife to spread. If it needs a little push, place cookie in a warm place until the kiss softens.

Peanut Butter Tassies 
Roll the cookie dough in sugar, make smaller scoops ( I like my #70 scoop), press into an ungreased tassie (mini cupcake pan) pan. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. When removing from the oven, immediately press an unwrapped Mini-Sized Reese's Peanut Butter Cup into the center and press so the top is even with the top of the cookie. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan before removing carefully and placing on a cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Fold in 1, 12-ounce bag of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips to the above recipe right before all the flour is almost incorporated. Form cookies into balls on cookie sheet and do not press with a fork.


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