Pillow-Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 20

I’ve made peanut butter cookies before. But I had yet to find the IDEAL peanut butter cookie, the one that stayed soft and fluffy no matter what. UNTIL NOW. This one, adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction, IS that cookie. These things are like memory foam for your taste buds, and the cookies just melt away on the first bite. I made them for Krystopf for his birthday and quadrupled the batch so I’d have some to shove in the freezer for later and now I think I’ve found a new favourite.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 4

Start with 1/2 cup butter that is nice and soft and chuck that in the bowl of your electric mixer. Tip in as well 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar and start beating that.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 2

Beat it for like five minutes. Honestly, it makes all the difference.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 3

Next, whip in 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 5

Then crack in an egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix it all up until it’s beautiful and smooth.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 6

I took the time here to grab a package of Skor bits and I tipped in the whole package (for my quadrupled recipe – you might want to use less).

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 8

You can skip this if you’d prefer your cookies unadulterated.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 9

In another bowl, whisk together 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 7

Slowly mix that in with your dough until fully combined – it won’t take long because your dough is already beautifully soft and fluffy. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes so that you can handle it easily.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 10

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment (though I recommend baking these one sheet at a time).  Spread some granulated sugar onto a plate. Grab a pinch of cookie and roll it into a ball.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 11

Plop it on the plate of sugar and roll to coat.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 12

Shove it onto the baking sheet and flatten it with a fork.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 13

Do that with all the rest – you will likely end up with about 24 cookies.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 14

Bake for 8-9 minutes, one baking sheet at a time. The cookies will look totally underdone when you pull them out but resist the urge to continue baking.  Let the cookies firm up on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes before letting them cool on a rack and they’ll be just fine.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 18

These puppies will stay soft in an airtight container for about 10 days. But they haven’t lasted that long here so I can’t say that for sure.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies 19

Advertisements

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 12

The Pie LOVES peanut butter, but is not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies. I maintain that this is because he has not yet found the perfect recipe.  This one comes courtesy of Fake Food Free’s sojourn into a summer cookbook and I like the looks of it. I took these babies camping with us (with some Oatmeal-Raisin Scotchies) and they were perfect for the outdoors.

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 14

Start by creaming together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 1
This picture is blurry because I was so excited about peanut butter cookies.

Then add in 1 egg, 1 tablespoon half and half (or light cream), and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until combined.

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 2

Sift in 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and stir to combine completely, until you get a nice dough (TRUTHBOMB: I forgot the baking soda. Until like, wayyy later. You should always use a leavening agent when you make cookies – to avoid hard, terrible hockey puck cookies – so if you forget, sprinkle the soda evenly over the whole surface of your dough and then stir it in like crazy).

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 3

Then tumble in like a full cup of peanut butter chips.  Or half a cup, which is what the recipe says. Or whatever. There are no Ingredient Police in my kitchen.

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 4

Chill the dough for at least half an hour.

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 5

Preheat your oven to 375°F and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop the cookies onto the baking sheet in little balls. Flatten them with the palm of your hand and use a fork to make that peanut-butter-cookie-crosshatch on the surface.

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 7

Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown. The cookies will look underbaked but that’s totally fine, as they’ll continue to bake on the baking sheet once you take it out of the oven. That’s why you leave the cookies on the sheet for at least five minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely and then scarf those babies down.

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 9

I gave some to my parents in these super cute treat bags because they babysat Princess Gren for the weekend.

Old Fashioned PB Cookies 15

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 12

The Pie, like many boys out there, has a strong addiction to peanut butter.  He’s not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies, feeling that they’re often too dry, but this recipe was odd enough that he thought we should give it a shot.

For this, in addition to peanut butter, we’re also going to use peanut butter chips.  The Hershey’s Kitchen recipes are great because they tell you to just go ahead and use a whole package of those chips.  We’re also going to use this whole 320g back of pretzels.  The recipe calls for 4-5 cups broken pretzels and so I thought 5 cups was too much and would use the whole bag but I ended up regretting my decision and I should have done the whole lot.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 1

Anyway, break up your pretzels until you have about 5 cups broken pretzel pieces.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 2

Now, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1 cup softened butter with 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and keep going until it’s all lovely and fluffy.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 3

Then add in 2/3 cup peanut butter (I used smooth but I bet this would be good with crunchy) and beat that up as well.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 4

Next toss in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 5

In another bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda and then add that gradually to the rest of your dough in the mixer.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 6

Finally, stir in 1 2/3 cups peanut butter chips (this is a whole 300g/10oz package, by the by).

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 7

Now grab some of your lovely dough and roll it into a small ball about 1 1/2″ wide.  Mine in this shot is a little on the big side.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 8

Roll the ball of dough in your pretzel pieces and gently press the pretzels into the dough.  Flatten the ball slightly onto your baking sheet.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 10

I made these ones too big and they took forever to cook (and I could only do eight per sheet) so I made the rest of them significantly smaller.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 11

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are light brown around the edges.  They don’t expand or flatten much.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet before removing them to a rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies 16

Salty and sweet.  A hit as always.

Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

This recipe is an interesting one, and the Pie pointed it out to me.  He loves peanut butter, but isn’t a huge fan of the peanut butter cookie, finding it too crumbly and dry.  So he found me this recipe in Baked’s first cookbook, and I thought I would try it out for one of my research participants.  The participant in question, poor fellow, just broke his collarbone in two places.  I got a one-armed hug for my cookie efforts.  It helped that I also brought along some of the ever-popular peanut butter cups.

And, because my lovely Baked book is back in St. John’s, I used the instructions of Laura over at Kitchen Illiterate — thanks Laura!

I doubled my recipe and am going to attempt to freeze half this dough and see how it turns out.  As always, I left out the salt, because my butter is salted.

So get your mis en place all set up:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, whisked or sifted together with 2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup butter, softened and cut into pieces

1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup peanut butter (I used all-natural crunchy)

6 ounces chocolate, chopped (I used dark chocolate)

If you’re not sure how fine to chop your chocolate, remember that, unlike chocolate chips, bar and slab chocolate does not retain its shape when it’s melted, so think carefully about the size of chocolate goo you want wandering around in your cookie and you’ll be fine.

First, beat the butter and the sugars together until they’re totally fluffy.  If you find your mixture is too dry and crumbly, your butter needs to be softer.  You can chuck your mixing bowl into the oven at 250°F for a few minutes and that will do the trick nicely.

Add each egg one at a time and beat until fully incorporated.

Then you can plop in your peanut butter and the vanilla.  I found it mixed easier if I softened the peanut butter as well, but it depends on the type of peanut butter you use.  Beat that until it’s just mixed.

Add about half the flour mixture and beat for 15 seconds (just following the recipe here, folks).  Add the second half and beat until just incorporated, though you want to make sure you don’t have any pockets of flour anywhere.

Now you can add in your chocolate.

Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  I am a bad person, and only had time to do it for 2 hours, but I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference.  The dough might be a little harder to handle, but you get used to it.

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and use a tablespoon measure or small scoop to drop rounded balls of dough onto the sheet. 

The secret is in the roundness of your implement.

Make sure they’re at least 2″ apart, because these babies will spread like the Dickens. (Incidentally, does anyone know where that particular turn of phrase comes from?)

Flatten the balls with your fingers, but just a little bit.  They’ll do the rest on their own.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating your sheets halfway through baking, until the cookies have just started to brown on top.  You may find that your oven is hotter or more efficient than this and your cookies end up a bit darker or slightly burnt on the bottom. I always burn my first batch anyway.  My dad loves it because it means more cookies for him.

I ended up cutting the baking time down to 8 minutes, rotating halfway through.  It might even be better to cook them at 350°F instead, but I guess it depends on how thick your pan is.  I used two kinds of baking sheets, one rimmed and one not, and the ones on the rimmed sheet did not turn out as dark.

Remove them from the oven and allow them to sit on the baking sheets for a few minutes to firm up before you transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Then you can stuff your face.  Go ahead.  You know you want to.