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Joy of Cooking's Peanut Butter Cookies (14-in-one)

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I've had a craving for peanut butter cookies lately, so tonight I finally had some free time to throw together a batch. Instead of using my normal recipe, I decided to try the first peanut butter cookie recipe from The New Joy of Cooking (the 14-in-one cookie recipe with peanut butter).

I used (clockwise from top) a Kitchenaid stand mixer, 2/3 cup peanut butter, 1 egg and 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup unsalted butter. Not shown is 2-1/2 cup all purpose flour. The peanut butter I chose to use is Laura Schudder's Smooth Old Fashioned Peanut Butter. This peanut butter doesn't have trans fatty acids because it doesn't contain any partially hydrogenated fats (unlike most other store bought peanut butter). I also use unsalted butter because it's always difficult to determine how much salt is in your salted butter and therefore difficult to replicate a recipe. This is why most baking recipes call for unsalted butter. If you don't have unsalted butter, just use your salted butter, leave out the loose salt, and hope for the best.

So, I mentioned that I used 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk... so that leaves 1 large egg white unaccounted for. What did I do with it? Instead of throwing it away, decided to freeze it for use later. Put the whites in an ice cube tray and place in freezer. After they have become solid, simply break them out into cubes and place in a labelled ziplock bag. In this case, the large egg white will make two cubes, so I'll label the bag as such. Perhaps when I accumulate enough whites, I'll make an angel food cake.

The butter, sugar, and salt should be blended in the mixer until the butter fluffs up and lightens in color. This is quite an important step as it allows the crystals of the sugar to punch through the butter and leave small air pockets giving you a fluffy cookie and not a dense rock.

Next, I put in the peanut butter. This whole time my Kitchenaid UltraPower Stand Mixer has been on setting 4 out of 10. Can you make this recipe with a hand mixer? Of course, but it will take a bit longer and if the peanut butter is real thick, you'll need to manage the speed and power of your hand mixer properly. Mix until smooth. This was a good time to scrape down the sides once.

I then poured in the egg yolk while the mixer was still going. Once that integrated, I added the egg and vanilla extract and allowed that to mix through.

Now, I reduced the speed of the mixer to its lowest setting and bit by bit added flour to the mixture. You don't want to overwhelm the mixture's ability to integrate the solid, so a little at a time is best. Otherwise, you could have a chunk of unblended flour because you put too much flour in one spot. Also, slowly adding flour reduces the potential for flour get thrown out of the bowl.

Once I scrape the sides down once more time and mixed for thirty more seconds, I got a moist dough which stuck to itself more than the bowl. Note how clean the bowl got - that was the dough pulling all the dough from the sides of the bowl. I shaped it into a ball at the bottom of the bowl for easy handling.

Now, I seperated the dough into two and placed on plastic wrap.

I then placed the two wrapped dough balls into the refrigerator to firm up (at least one hour). Since I made these in the evening, I'll use them the next morning. You can refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to a month.

The cookies made from this dough was bland (not much peanut butter flavor) and cakey. I had to take them to two groups of people before the two dozen cookies were consumed. Only one person liked them. This recipe is not recommended. See Recipe File: Peanut Butter Cookies for the recipe I use on a regular basis.

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup unsalted buttermixmixmixmixmix
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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Written by Michael Chu
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19 comments on Joy of Cooking's Peanut Butter Cookies (14-in-one):(Post a comment)

On February 17, 2006 at 03:59 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Somehow the images in this recipe don't seem to work? I guess it is a referer check problem, because I can view them manually.

On February 17, 2006 at 04:00 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I think the site that hosts the images is blocking the images.

On February 17, 2006 at 04:00 AM, Michael Chu said...
The first time I moved sites (from blogspot to doteasy) I didn't finish uploading the older pictures. I will upload them soon.

On February 17, 2006 at 04:00 AM, an anonymous reader said...
How soon is soon? C'mon, I wanna bake some cookies :) - Belinda

On February 17, 2006 at 04:00 AM, Michael Chu said...
Soon is now... Thanks for the reminder.

On February 17, 2006 at 04:01 AM, Lovemydog (guest) said...
Hi Michael, The link to the other cookie recipe didn't work. Thought you'd like to know...
I'll look in archives. Thanks for the website. I really enjoy it.

On February 17, 2006 at 04:01 AM, an anonymous reader said...
One of the simplest and best peanut butter cocokie recipes I have ever come across is this:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar (white)
1 egg

Mix well. Form into 1 inch balls. Flatten on cookie sheet with a fork dipped in sugar (for that criss-cross pattern). Bake 8-10 min in moderate oven (325 deg.)

They are soft when they come out, so let cool for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack. There is nothing to interfere with the peanut butter flavor in these little gems.

Sounds too simple and a little odd, but they work every time.

On February 17, 2006 at 04:01 AM, Michael Chu said...
re: broken link

Fixed. Thanks!

On February 17, 2006 at 04:01 AM, Gary (guest) said...
I was just going to post my 3-ingredient peanut butter recipe, but someone beat me to it!
I can vouch for it...they're my favorite. No one believes that those 3 ingredients will make a cookie, so I always have to prove it to them when they're over. They're quick, easy, and TASTY!

On February 17, 2006 at 04:02 AM, an anonymous reader said...
This is the first time I have logged onto this site. I am 65 yrs old ,enjoy cooking and most of all enjoy food network tv. I especially liked how your directions were detailed and you gave a lot of reasons for why you did what you did. Keep up the good work. I will try your own peanut butter cookie recipe. Thanks.

On February 17, 2006 at 04:02 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I can vouch for the three ingredients recipe... They are delicious !!! Unbelievable and simple. Better make a double recipe though or you'll be wishing you had... :o)

On July 17, 2007 at 11:26 AM, Gale (guest) said...
I am 60 years old and still looking for the peanut butter cookies like we got in grade school. I was told the secret was government produced peanut butter.... I think they used to call these foods commodities. Anyway, the peanut butter flavor was strong and delicious. The cookie texture was crunchy, but not hard. I will try the 3 ingredient cookie, it sounds good! But, what exactly makes a good peanut butter?

On October 21, 2007 at 10:02 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Mis-spelled words
PLEASE NOTE: SEPARATED is spelled SEP-A-RATED. Two A's & two E's. Too many folks make this mistake. Also, then for than. Proof reading is advised and keep a dictionary at hand.
Chavie B)

On May 15, 2008 at 05:05 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: My Mom's PB cookies
This is my Mom's recipe. They have plenty of peanut butter flavor and I think people will like these - they were a hit in our engineering lab!
1 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
1 c peanut butter (I use the natural, unsweetened PB)
2 eggs (no freezing egg whites!)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
3 c flour
1/4 c orange juice

Bake @ 375F for 7-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack or between front teeth. Keep in an air-tight jar and they stay nice'n'chewy. Great for dunking in milk! (Don't double this recipe unless you've got an institutional-sized mixer.)

On January 13, 2009 at 01:00 PM, RecipeMashups (guest) said...
Subject: Joy of Cooking Peanut Butter Cookies
Wow, you just saved me a lot of time and work! I have the Joy of Cooking and was about to make these cookies, but seeing the results of your efforts (only one person liked the cookies) made me rethink this. I'll have to find a new recipe, now. Love your blog -- the detail and pics are fantastic. I'll be back to visit!


On January 13, 2009 at 01:10 PM, RecipeMashups (guest) said...
Subject: Joy of Cooking Peanut Butter Cookies
PS -- I've added you to my blogroll at

On December 17, 2009 at 07:24 AM, Emily (guest) said...
Subject: I dunno
I came here from Google looking for the original Joy of Cooking recipe, as it's an amazingly good and easy recipe, producing rich, tender, and crumbly cookies, almost like shortbread. (My copy is in storage at the moment.) I hope the one from the New Joy is the same as the original. If it is, I'd be leery of using the stand mixer. It's not only a waste of energy and more stuff to wash, but can overbeat your flour, creating too much gluten and turning a lovely, crumbly cookie into one that's hard and chewy. Sorry to be so low-tech, but all that's really needed, if your butter is at room temp when you start so that creaming it with the sugar is easy, is a wooden spoon.

On January 23, 2013 at 11:20 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: peanut butter matters
the type of peanut butter you use is very important when making peanut butter cookies. It can't be the natural kind (where it's just ground peanuts and maybe salt). it has to be the regular skippy or Jif type. prob. has something to do with the stabilizers or emulsifiers used.

On November 23, 2015 at 12:21 PM, an anonymous reader said...
My best friend makes these from the original Joy of Cooking book but uses fresh ground peanut butter from the health food store. They are incredible!!!

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