I. LOVE. Baking. Cookies come together quickly – especially compared to sourdough bread (don’t get me wrong, I love that too) – and they taste like tiny little packages of joy. There are so many delicious types of cookies and fun ways to play with recipes, but having a solid recipe for classic peanut butter cookies is key in my book.
Also, I am not straying from the website name. Little known fact – peanuts are legumes! 🙂
Peanut Butter Cookies with Browned ButterCourse: DessertsDifficulty: Easy
Browned butter amps up the flavor and nutty tones of a well-loved classic – peanut butter cookies!
- Dry ingredients
150 g (~1-1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt (optional)
What? Why is salt optional?? I am a fan of salt in baking, but peanut butter often is already salted and you may or may not be using salted butter, and you don’t want to make the dough too salty. In my case, I did not need to add any salt because my peanut butter had salt and I used salted butter.
- Wet ingredients
113 g (1 stick = 1/2 cup) butter
Use unsalted or salted, whatever you have on hand. Then decide based on this if you think you should add salt to the cookie dough or hold off. Also note that when browning butter, some of the liquid evaporates – after browning I only had 95 g left.
145 g (~1/2 cup) peanut butter – I use natural peanut butter
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100 g (~1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
You can use light brown sugar, but the flavor will have a little less of those caramel notes.
100 g (~1/2 cup) granulated white sugar
- Brown the butter, making sure to remove it from the pan once browned to prevent burning. Put it in a side dish to let the butter cool slightly before adding to the wet ingredients or go ahead and add it directly to the wet ingredients bowl, just take care to not cook the eggs – first mix the butter with other ingredients (like the peanut butter) to cool it slightly.
- To a large bowl, add in the wet ingredients (peanut butter, eggs, vanilla extract, sugars, and the browned butter). Mix well.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt if using).
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 2 additions, mixing just to combine (as in, try to avoid overmixing which can make the dough tough).
- I recommend chilling the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least a couple hours, although you can leave it in the fridge up to a few days. This will improve the flavor and help the cookies better hold their shape and not spread too much. If you can’t wait, don’t worry too much about it, but know that they might come out a bit flat.
- When ready to bake, remove dough from the fridge. If the dough was in the fridge for a long time and is rock hard, allow it to soften for 20-30 minutes before baking. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Roll the cookie dough into balls. This recipe makes about 12-16 cookies. You can flatten them with a fork to make the classic criss-cross pattern , or you can cook them as is. The ones left as balls may be slightly gooier in the middle, which in my opinion is a lovely way to enjoy a cookie.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, depending on your oven and how gooey/crispy you like cookies. My personal recommendation would be to slightly under-bake these and then let them firm up on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack so they have a nice, chewy center.
- This recipe also makes for delicious pizookies. Use whatever small baking pan you have on hand (a loaf pan, etc.), pushing the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. You can make it a thicker or thinner layer depending on what pan you have available and how doughy you like your pizookies. While it is baking find someone (or a few people) whose day you want to brighten by sharing this with them. Bake until still slightly gooey in the middle, then pull out of the oven, top with (vanilla) ice cream, and dive in. Before topping with ice cream you can scoop servings into little bowls or leave it in the pan, family style. If leaving in the pan, try not to let your excitement for the combo of gooey cookie and melting ice cream result in burns….it hurts.
- I live at about ~5,000 ft. For those of you above sea level by at least a few thousand feed, an easy adjustment is to do sliiiightly less than a full 1 tsp of leavening (something like 1/2 tsp of baking powder and a scant 1/2 tsp baking soda).
Do you see how much character the center cookie has (read: how ugly it is) and how many of the edges on my cookies are not smooth? This is because I was not patient and tried to use the fork to press down on very cold cookie dough and so I smooshed it. I have no regrets and they tasted delicious, but if you are going for aesthetics it would appear that patience is more of a virtue… 😀