Mini Throwdown: Peanut Butter Cookies (Part 2)

Peanut Butter CookiesAfter my not-quite-successful attempt at Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, the search has been on for the perfect recipe to take to the fair. Not that the first attempt was terrible—it just made me realize what kind of peanut butter cookie I was after. It’s not the thin, almost crispy, peanut butter puddle I got from the first round. My ideal cookie is the one I pictured in my mind before pulling those disappointments out of the oven; that beautiful, thick, chewy, glorious cookie bursting with flavor. So Round 1 of my Peanut Butter Cookie Throwdown was a wash—those would never be a contender for Operation Total Fair Domination—but now that I knew what I wanted, maybe Round 2 would be more fruitful.

I’ve been lusting after David Lebovitz’s book, Ready for Dessert, since it came out months ago. A bit of a “greatest hits” collection, these are some of the best recipes in his arsenal, and a powerful one at that. Skimming through the book, it’s filled to the brim with recipes I’m dying to try. They all sound so good! But unfortunately, there aren’t enough extra funds to put towards owning it yet, so I checked it out from the library to give some of them a shot. What better way to break it in than a Throwdown challenge!

The recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies is incredibly easy. Other than a 2 hour chill time (plus the time it takes to bring it back to room temperature), which I skipped entirely because I was baking before work, the recipe comes together quickly. No crazy ingredients to forget to buy. No weird directions to mess up. A simple recipe for traditional peanut butter cookies. So did they live up to my standards of the ideal cookie?

Peanut Butter Cookies
You bet. These cookies baked up thick, stayed soft and chewy, and looked absolutely beautiful. And the taste? Pretty much spot on. Just the right amount of peanut butter—not too much, not too little. A tiny bit towards the sweet side, but I was okay with it, and everyone at work really liked them. My one and only complaint—they were a little small with my regular cookie scoop. Next time, and there will be a next time, I’ll use a little more dough to make them a bit bigger. These are definitely a contender. It only took two rounds, but I think I’ve found my fair recipe! Now if only my chocolate cupcake trials were going that well…

Peanut Butter CookiesPeanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz
Makes 30 2-inch cookies

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugars, and peanut butter just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough comes together.
3. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Remove the dough from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
4. With racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, preheat to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Pour about ¼ cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl.
5. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll them in the granulated sugar and place on prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Using the back tines of a fork, make a crosshatch pattern on each cookie, flattening it slightly.
6. Bake, rotating sheets halfway, until cookies begin to brown at the edges but centers still look slightly uncooked, 9 to 10 minutes. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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sarahe said...

oh yum! these look great! and i don't know if i've told you about it before, but you should definitely sign up for swagbucks--it is a free search engine where you get points for doing searches, taking surveys, polls, etc...and get points to cash in for prizes. i'm using it to fund my book addiction--have gotten 2 $10 barnes & noble gift certificates in the past month! there is a link for it on the bottom of my blog.

good luck at the fair!

I BLEED PINK said...

Oh how I love peanut butter cookies. I am going to have to try this recipe. I also think I need to add that book my collection. Surprisingly I don't own any of his cookbooks!

SugarCooking said...

These look PERFECT. I've been looking for a good peanut butter cookie recipe and I'm gonna try these this weekend! Thanks!

Melissa W. said...

These look great! I'm going to try this recipe this weekend only with a bunch of peanut butter chips thrown in for good measure. Thanks for the recipe!

scrambledhenfruit said...

Peanut butter cookies are right up there with chocolate chips in the comfort food category- these sound delicious and I hope they're winners for you!

The Merlin Menu said...

Here's a Peanut Butter Cookie recipe that's a bit different, tender, full of flavor, and melt in your mouth.

I thought you might like to give it a try...


Mme Moussu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita said...

Hi, I tried your recipe and found the taste wonderful, but the texture was crumbly. I had to add more butter to be able to press down on the dough balls without them breaking apart, but the baked cookies still stayed crumbly. Any idea why?

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