11 March 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies - The Classic Comfort Cookie










Peanut butter cookies are one of the most popular (the classic after-school comfort cookie), but I only seem to make them about once a year. They're so easy to make--I use all sorts of different proportions of ingredients depending on what I have on hand. One thing I insist on, though, is natural (also called "old-fashioned") peanut butter--none of that phony stuff with stabilizers and shortening and sugar and who knows what all. And I use all organic ingredients.

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)

3/4 cup (3 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
2 packed cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 In food processor with metal blade in place, process oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill organic extra thick rolled oats) for about 30 seconds until ground into coarse flour.

2 In small bowl, whisk together flour, ground oats, baking powder, soda and salt.

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!

20 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

Definitely the classic peanut butter cookie! I like to use my potato masher to press onto the top. It creates little round 'buttons.' :-)

Jean said...

Thanks for stopping by, Judy! I have a really old metal potato masher that I sometimes use to make my crisscrosses, but this time my dough wasn't chilled enough and the "buttons" were coming out about an inch high!

Southerner said...

Blimey Jean!!! That's a new one on me. I don't think we have them at all here.

We have a reasonable range of peanut butters on our supermarket shelves, but (a pun) peanut butter cookies??? Never heard of them. They do sound interesting though.

Now, do you have "black pudding," over there???

All the best,
Tony

Jean said...

Yes, Tony, black pudding is available here in British pubs and import shops. And since my mum's family were English, I've always known about it. But it's not for me! Nor is steak and kidney pie. My mother and grandmother were the only ones in our house who ate that. They kindly left the kidneys out of the pie for the rest of the family! But do try my "exotic" peanut butter cookies!

LightartedSue said...

Jean I love your fresh, clean, comfortable food, recipes and ingredients. A pleasure to read---and use!

Jean said...

Thank you, Sue! That certainly describes what I aim for with my blog!

ChichaJo said...

Peanut butter I think is one of the most comforting ingredients :) Thanks for visiting my blog!

Jean said...

Andthanks for visiting mine, ChicaJo. Really hope you'll try my Chocolate Buttermilk Sheetcake.

Linda www.mykindofcooking.com said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! I love peanut butter cookies with a cup of tea. I learned to love tea with milk on our first trip to South Africa several years ago. Like you said, you can't beat a proper cup of tea!

Have a great weekend!
Linda
www.mykindofcooking.com

Jean said...

Thanks, Linda! I especially like English breakfast tea with a little milk. I usually don't add milk to Darjeeling. Earl Grey, usually don't but sometimes.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Yes please. These look perfect. I'd eat the whole batch if you let me!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Jean said...

Hey, Ma! Thanks, Alex! (I think I did eat the whole batch! I just kept eating "just one more" ALL day long.)

Sarah W. Caron said...

Your peanut butter cookies look absolutely perfect! Yum. Can't wait to try this recipe.

Jean said...

Thanks, Sarah. I call them "adult peanut butter cookies" because I put less sugar in them than is usual and they go so well with tea and, I suppose, coffee.

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

I love the oats here! I have never used oats in peanut butter cookies and I bet the texture is great! And such a wonderful photo!

Jean said...

Thanks so much, Katie! The oats are just my way of trying to beef up the nutrition level a bit! And thanks for the compliment on the photo. I'm working hard on my photography.

Jenn said...

I love peanut butter cookies...ok, ok, I love cookies, but peanut butter rank up there in my top 5!!!

Jean said...

Me too! And I like to pretend that the oats and peanut butter make them health food!

Jen of Country Weekend said...

Hi Jean,
Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. I've been looking for a good cooking blog and look forward to more of yours. I love peanut butter cookies and I've never made them with oatmeal--I'm going to try making these.

Jean said...

Thanks, Jen! Let me know how you like them. Wish I could visit your store in the Catskills, but at least I can visit your lovely blog.

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