I’m not sure there are very many things in life more satisfying than a classic peanut butter cookie. They’re sort of the underdog of the cookie world; Devoid of flashy add-ins, they may seem, on the surface, less interesting than the other cookies on the table. I firmly believe their unassuming nature adds to their charm and a homemade (well made) peanut butter cookie can really stand up to the chocolate chips and oatmeal raisins of the world.
I used to make SO MANY of these cookies growing up and that is mainly because they don’t call for any “specialty” ingredients (i.e., solid chocolate or nuts) that we usually didn’t keep in the house as staples. So ten-year-old me could whip up a batch of these babies completely on my own using just what we had in the cupboard.
I never got any complaints so that’s a good sign. Like all other baked goods in my house, a batch usually lasts no more than 12 hours (although this may have less to do with my baking prowess and more to do with my family’s gluttonous tendencies).
The recipe I use comes from our well-loved and well-abused (it has no back cover and it’s missing about a third of the pages) Betty Crocker’s Cookbook. It has a really special place in my heart, as I’m sure it does many others, for its simplicity and nostalgia. It contains everything from Veal with Tuna Sauce (hard pass) to more accessible (and delicious) fare like Zucchini Bread and Yellow Cake. It’s a desert island cookbook. If you only had it, plus some great ingredients, you’d not want for much (that is if, unlike me, your version is still intact).
The only change I made to the original recipe is subbing in some PB2 (which is powdered peanut butter) for some of the flour. It’s kind of a health item (it has much, much less fat than regular peanut butter and you’re supposed to mix it with water to make a paste that resembles peanut butter). I have yet to try it in that application, but I do think it amped up the peanut butteriness of these cookies.
Whether you decide to make these my way, with the powdered peanut butter, or without (a substitution is listed in the recipe), you’ll end up with a cookie that is perfectly peanut-y and gorgeously textured (a little sandy crumble with just the right amount of chewiness). It’s a recipe to make over and over again.
Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1/4 cup reserved for rolling
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup PB2 powdered peanut butter*
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, peanut butter, shortening and butter until fully combined. In a different bowl, combine flour, PB2 powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add all of the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix until just combined.
Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out cookies onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Roll balls of dough in your hands to make them round and then roll them in the 1/4 cup sugar. Place back onto baking sheet. Once all the balls are rolled, place pans in freezer for about 10 minutes.
Use a fork to create crosshatching pattern atop cookies (the sides with sort of split when you press down but this is okay). Place back in the freezer for about another ten minutes.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
* If you don’t want to use the PB2, just swap out the 1/4 cup of it for flour.
Original recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.