Craig’s Kitchen – Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever!

Maybe “one” of the best peanut butter cookies ever.

I think it depends on your taste.  But I like mine heavy on the peanut butter and the right peanut butter is essential to great peanut butter cookies. If you don’t start with the right peanut butter, you’re doomed to failure.  Okay maybe that’s exaggerating, but it does make a big difference.  The problem with many peanut butter cookies (IMHO) is that they taste more like peanut butter flavored sugar cookies instead of actual peanut butter cookies.  When you taste these, there will be no doubt.  You are putting an authentic peanut butter cookie in your mouth!

Better yet, they are completely gluten-free!  That was a happy byproduct of my search for a truly good peanut butter cookie.  Thanks to the Internet, I found a recipe I liked and then added my own touches to it (like brown sugar – yum).  I do have to add a small warning – these peanut butter cookies are SO peanut-buttery that they need their own container.  Last Christmas I gave some away and we packaged them in a tin with snickerdoodles and chocolate chip pan cookies.  We came away with peanut butter flavored snickerdoodles and peanut butter and chocolate pan cookies.

IMG_5164The Ingredients:

  • Laura Scudder’s All Natural Smooth Peanut Butter – the number one key ingredient.  The 16oz jar is the perfect amount for this recipe.
  • Brown Sugar – 1 cup – Light brown is the best (never used dark brown for this recipe but my thought it it would be a little too rich)
  • Granulated White Sugar – 1 cup – If you’ve got some handy, I like to use baking sugar which is even more refined than regular white sugar, but either one is fine
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp – I like McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract but just make sure it’s real vanilla and not imitation
  • Eggs – 2 large – I like to use cage free eggs, but any large eggs will do.  Extra large will be too big
  • Baking soda – 2 tsp
  • Salt – pinch
  • Chocolate Chips (optional) – 6 oz (half a bag) – I just started experimenting with this but everyone loved it.  If you want a pure peanut butter cookie, just leave this out

IMG_5165lis

  1. Mix together the peanut butter until it is super smooth.  THIS IS THE MOST CRITICAL PART OF THE RECIPE!  If the peanut butter isn’t super smooth you won’t get the even peanut butter taste you’ll be craving.  Instead it will be unbalanced.  Laura Scudder’s (like any good real peanut butter) comes separated into the oil and peanuts. This is the most work, but the rewards are so great!
  2. While you are stirring, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get a cookie sheet and line with parchment paper to prevent sticking
  3. Once your peanut butter is super smooth, pour your two cups of peanut butter into a bowl and mix with both white and brown sugar. Stir until it comes out well mixed
  4. Add eggs one at a time until mixed in then add the rest of the ingredients.  After stirring until well mixed, it will look like peanut butter!  If you want the chocolate chips, this is the time to stir them in – after everything else is combined
  5. Form about 1 inch balls in the palms of your hands.  It’s okay if it’s a little big or a little small – don’t worry about it!  Just place them on the prepared cookie sheet with enough space to grow.  I put about twenty on a sheet – five rows of four balls each
  6. Make the cute criss-cross with the back of a small fork, pressing down gently on the ball until you get that criss cross pattern.  I don’t know why this is done except that it’s the universal symbol of peanut butter cookies
  7. Place in the oven and watch them.  Cooking times will definitely vary by oven but for me about 9 or 10 minutes works best.  You want to make sure the cookie is cooked (eggs and all) without overcooking them.  When they are overcooked they start turning darker and darker.  Obviously if they are black, it was way too long!  If you’re unsure, lift one of them up off the parchment and look at the bottom (it will be flimsy so be careful).  If it is a nice, rich, dark color on the bottom it’s probably done.  It will start turning black on the bottom before anywhere else so you can usually tell this way
  8. Remove from the oven when done and let them sit for a few minutes just to firm up enough to move them to a wire rack.  They should be ready to eat in about 10 minutes (but yummy enough if you can’t wait to pull them early)

I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe and let me know if you love it!  Seriously great peanut butter cookies.

 

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