Peanut butter cookies

I still remember the first time I tried my hands at baking. I was about nine, and had just read this activity book which detailed a number of fun things to do, one of them being cookie baking. And for some reason, I immediately decided that the cookie baking activity was the one I would have to do. Like the next day. I also remember my mum trying to help me out, but my 9 year old self was adamant that I would do it myself… which wasn’t the wisest decision in the world.

Everything went well, until the cookies were taken out of the oven. My eager hands reached out for a cookie, but they were nothing like the chewy yummy cookie I envisioned. In fact they were rock hard. I kid you not. And that was when I retraced my steps and realised that I forgot to add butter to the cookie dough. That batch of cookies ended up in the bin (for obvious reasons), and I learnt a very good lesson about the importance of butter in baked goods.

Fast forward to the me of today, where the eagerness for baking has become even more pronounced. I’m always on the lookout for good recipes, and when I saw these peanut butter cookies on Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to make them. Not only did they look fabulous, but they were Deb approved! Perfect. I especially liked the fact that they were rolled in sugar, which made them look extra pretty.

And you know what, I really really loved these cookies. I daresay this is the best recipe I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a fair number of them), and I wasn’t even using peanut butter chips! I used chocolate chips as peanut butter chips are not easy (nor cheap) to come by in London – so they weren’t as peanut buttery as they could potentially be, but I was still one happy bunny. A very happy one.

As always, I cut down on the amount on sugar in the recipe (something I learnt from my mum, who always uses only 2/3 of the amount of sugar stated in a recipe, and you know what – it always works). I used 1/4 (instead of 3/4) cup of caster sugar, and kept the same amount of brown sugar – but did feel that the cookies were a tad too sweet! I suspect it may be because the cookies were then rolled in sugar, which added to the sweetness of the cookie. But you know, a little sugar never hurt anyone… so it’s okay. 😀

But yes. Try making these, and if you’re a peanut butter fan I promise you won’t be dissapointed.

Peanut butter cookies
Ever so slightly adapted from this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (who adapted it from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used chunky peanut butter because.. well it’s more peanutty) 😀
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (use 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter chips if you can get your hands on some)
  • For sprinkling: 2 tablespoons sugar, regular or superfine (I used caster sugar)

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy.

4. Add the sugars, and beat until smooth.

5. Add the egg and mix until just combined.

6. Add the milk, vanilla extract and the flour mixture, and beat thoroughly.

7. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips with a spatula.

8. Place sprinkling sugar on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto baking paper lined cookie sheets, leaving 3-4cm between each to allow for expansion.

9. Using a fork, lightly indent and flatten the cookies (traditionally people form a criss-cross pattern, but I chose to only have parallel lines). The cookies in their pre-baked state are rather crumbly, so be careful to not flatten the cookies to enthusiastically, as they may fall apart.

10. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not and will firm up whilst cooling.

11. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

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