I've always loved the traditional crisscross pattern on a peanut butter cookie. But there are those people who can't leave well enough alone and decorate the cookie with chocolate kisses or other candies. I admit peanut butter and chocolate are a classic combination, but I'm a purist--just give me my little crisscross pattern! And a proper cup of English Breakfast tea with just a little splash of milk.
If you happen to live someplace where peanut butter is not readily available, you can easily whip some up with a food processor. Natural peanut butter is just shelled and roasted peanuts, skins removed, processed with a bit of peanut oil (maybe 1 tablespoon to 8 ounces of peanuts, just guessing) and salt to taste.
Texture is everything in a cookie--can't stand a gummy peanut butter cookie! You can use 2 1/2 packed cups (12.5 ounces) of unbleached all-purpose flour for my recipe, but I really like the texture and extra nutrition you get by using some coarsely ground old-fashioned oats in place of part of the flour. Try it and let me know how you like it!
Peanut Butter Cookies
(Makes 40 3-inch cookies)
2 packed cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
3 In large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in peanut butter, then eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat in flour mixture. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
4 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shape #40 scoops* (0.8 ounces or approximately 1.5 tablespoons) of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Shaping into balls before pressing results in perfectly smooth cookies, edges and all. (If you don't mind a less smooth look, just press the scooped dough down. That's what I often do!) Place 3 inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment. With a fork, flatten each in a crisscross pattern into a 2 1/4-inch round. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
5 Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container.
* If you don't have one of these 7/8 Ounce Size 40 Stainless Steel Round Squeeze Disher (13-0638) Category: Dishers, you need to get one now! How do people make cookies without it!