The ingredients are very similar to the Joy of Cooking recipe, but the proportions are quite different with more sugar and more peanut butter.
To make about two dozen cookies, start with 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup unsalted butter. This time around I chose to use Skippy brand peanut butter. There is some concern that commercial peanut butters contain trans fatty acids since partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are used to stabilize the butter (preventing separation). On the other hand, it is common to find higher levels of aflatoxins in old fashioned peanut butter leading to a higher risk of liver cancer (if consumed regularly). According to both Skippy's nutrition FAQ and the USDA claim that there are no measurable amounts of trans fats present in commercial peanut butter. Skippy explains that the vegetable oils are almost completely fully hydrogenated (which as you remember from the Saturated Fats article cannot be trans fats since fully hydrogenated fats are chemically the same as saturated fats).
Sift 1-1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp. salt together. The remaining ingredients are 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, and 1 egg.
Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or arms of steel, mix the peanut butter and butter together until relatively smooth. Don't worry about any small lumps of butter that might persist, when we mix in the sugar, the sugar crystals will perforate the butter until it's smooth.
Scrape the bowl down and mix both the granulated sugar and brown sugar into the butter. Mix until smooth.
Add the egg to the mixture and mix until integrated.
Once the egg has been mixed in, slowly add the flour as you stir (use the lowest setting on your mixer). I control the flow of flour by sifting the flour onto wax paper (or parchment paper) and folding it over so I can pour easily. By pouring the flour slowly, you won't overwhelm the batter and the flour will properly mix into the batter to form the final dough.
Form the dough into about two dozen 1 inch balls. I do this by picking up a lump of dough, rolling it between my hands, and finishing up by tossing the ball lightly between my hands. Place the balls of dough onto a greased or lined cookie sheet. In the pictures below, I lined the cookie sheet with aluminum foil (parchment paper works well also).
Flatten each of the balls with a fork.
Place one cookie sheet at a time in the center rack of an oven preheated to 375°F. Bake for nine minutes and remove. Let stand on cookie sheet for one minute, then transfer to cooling racks to cool.
These peanut butter cookies come out golden brown with a light crispiness that melts in your mouth.
For a soft and chewy peanut butter cookie, make sure you refrigerate the dough first. Then form dough balls and press down with a fork as before. Then, simply refrigerate the uncooked cookies for at least fifteen minutes to firm it back up. Then with the oven preheated to 300°F, slide one tray in at a time for a baking time of 15 minutes.
The reason this trick works is that the butter in the dough is not as fluid when cold. Warm dough will spread out more during the first few minutes of cooking, resulting in a thinner, crispier cookie. Starting the cookie sheet and dough cold, reduces the spread, making thicker cookies. The lower oven temperature keeps the outside of the cookie from getting too crunchy before the inside of the thicker cookie finishes cooking. It should be noted that if you want to make soft cookies of the same diameter as the crispy cookies, you'll need to use a little more dough in each so the spread ends up the same.}?>
Peanut Butter Cookies
|1/2 cup (130 g) peanut butter||mix||mix||mix||slowly add while stirring||refrigerate at least 1 hour|
|1/2 cup (110 g) unsalted butter|
|1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar|
|1/2 cup (110 g) brown sugar|
|1-1/4 cup (160 g) all purpose flour||sift|
|1/2 tsp. (2.3 g) baking soda|
|1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt|
Light & Crispy Cookies (makes about 24 cookies)
|Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)|
|1 batch cookie dough||form 1 in. balls||flatten with fork||bake 375°F 9 min.|
Soft & Chewy Cookies (makes about 18 cookies)
|Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C)|
|1 batch cookie dough||form 1.1 in. balls||flatten with fork||refrigerate 15 min.||bake 300°F 15 min.|