Classic old-fashioned peanut butter cookies that are chewy on the inside, crispy on the edges, and full of peanut flavor.
I’m feeling energetic today as I count down the days for my trip to Spain. I was about to make pecan pie this morning, but decided to go for something quicker and just as comforting so I could spend the rest of my day packaging at ease and jumping on the bed. It was time to take a look at my pantry (i.e., one cell in my tiny kitchen closet) to find some treasures.
Seems like I should do this more often. Quite a few of the ingredients were about to expire, which reminds me that I need to stop being a total sucker for ‘buy 2, get 1’ kind of deals. That’s usually not a problem with Nutella or peanut butter, though, which can disappear before it even gets to the pantry. And there are only 2 people living in this house. And Erez doesn’t eat peanut butter.
Still, there was a single jar of peanut butter that I somehow missed, and I could hear it speak to me, asking to become cookies. Classic, old-fashioned with a crisscross design cookies.
This is my favorite peanut-y cookie recipe. Other than a few small adaptions, it’s a perfect classic. Instead of just using baking soda as the leavener, I replace some of it with baking powder, which gives the cookies a lift and makes them slightly puffy. In addition to granulated sugar, I add brown sugar to make the cookies chewy and to compliment the peanut butter. I also like to add chopped peanuts, which further ups the flavor and adds crunch. Usually you’ll find me sneaking in some chocolate chips as well, and when I say usually, I mean always.
If you like thick cookies, I recommend chilling the dough for at least 2 hours to prevent them from spreading while baking. Another option is to roll the dough into balls, arrange them on the baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
If you want to make the cookies ahead of time, you can make the dough and place in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days before rolling it into balls. If the chilled cookie dough is hard to handle, leave it on the counter for a few minutes to soften.
Bake the cookies just until slightly browned around the edges, so they stay soft in the center but are chewy at the edges. The longer you bake them, the crunchier they will get.
- 2 1/2 cups (350g/12.3 oz.) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks/227g) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200g/7 oz.) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (200g/7 oz.) light (or dark) brown sugar
- 1 cup crunchy or smooth peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup peanuts , salted or not, finely chopped
- 1 cup chocolate chips , optional
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter and beat until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined, then mix in the nuts and chocolate chips. Do not overmix.
- Optional: Cover dough tightly and chill for a minimum of 2 hours (or up to 3 days). Chilling will make the cookies less prone to spreading while baking. If the chilled cookie dough is hard to handle, leave it on the counter for a few minutes to soften.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line 2 pans with parchment paper.
- Drop rounded balls of dough (I use this ice cream scoop), 2 tablespoons in size each, onto prepared baking sheet, leaving 2-inches/5cm between them. For an old-fashioned crisscross pattern, press the tines of a fork twice against each ball of dough – first in one direction, then in the other. This will also flatten the cookies, but make sure to leave them quite thick. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are puffy and begin to brown at the edges. Cookies will appear undone but will continue to bake on the warm baking sheet. Leave cookies to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months.