Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

These crunchy peanut butter cookies are meant to be given to big or little kids, to send to your homesick college student, or to pack into a school lunch. I’m partial to the bits of peanuts in chunky peanut butter, but creamy is good, too. (Use your favorite grocery store peanut butter. “Natural” peanut butter doesn’t work well for most baking.) These are definitely “milk-and-cookie” cookies. Or spread your favorite ice cream between cookies to make “sandwiches.” –Judith Sutton

LC Gratitude Cookies Note

It’s never too early to teach gratitude—or kitchen know-how—to kids. As author Judith Sutton suggests, give the kids a fork and ask them to make the traditional crisscross design on the cookies. Maybe even let them create their own designs. Then let them be the ones to gift them to someone in need. We like to think of these as Gratitude Cookies

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes about 60 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (not “natural”)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • 1. Place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter 2 large baking sheets.
  • 2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  • 3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2, to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl. Beat in the peanut butter. Beat in the egg, blending well, then beat in the vanilla. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in 2 additions.
  • 4. Scoop a slightly rounded teaspoonful of dough, roll the dough into a scant 1-inch ball, and place the ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. With the back of a fork, gently press a crisscross pattern into each cookie, flattening it to 1/4 inch thick.
  • 5. Bake the cookies, switching the position of the baking sheets halfway through baking, until they’re golden brown on the bottom and barely colored on top, 9 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely. (The crunchy peanut butter cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.)

Chocolate Chip Variation

  • If you’re a peanut butter cup lover, make the dough as directed, adding 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips to the dough. Use a slightly rounded tablespoon of dough to form each cookie and flatten each one into a 2 1/4- to 2 1/2-inch round. Increase the baking time to 10 to 13 minutes.
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Joan Osborne

Feb 14, 2005

My great-niece was staying with me and wanted to bake something. Since I had all the ingredients on hand for this recipe, we decided to make these cookies. We made half a batch and used creamy peanut butter instead of the crunchy. She also wanted to add some mini chocolate chips to some of them since the recipe suggested that as an option. We all thought they were delicious, both the ones with the chocolate and the ones without. We made ours a little bigger than suggested, and they took about 15 minutes to bake. We got 15 cookies. These are a fun baking project to do with tweens.

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Elsa M. Jacobson

Feb 14, 2005

I've made these now more than once, and the cookies are always a hit. I liked the idea of using chunky peanut butter, which made them seem extra peanut-y, but I'm sure making them with creamy peanut butter would work just fine. I also think the suggestion of making the chocolate chip variation would be great, though I've liked the cookies enough in this version to not try it out just yet. I have to confess that, although the ingredients list clearly states not to use "natural style" peanut butter, I did the first time I made them. However, I didn't have any troubles with the cookies. They're easy to make, with no steps to hold up having cookies ready quickly: just mix together, scoop and roll, fork in the crisscross, bake, and eat! The directions are exquisitely correct, both the timing and the number of cookies were accurate as written. As with many successful desserts that could, in theory, be stored, these never last long enough to prove it to be true! Nor have they ever lasted long enough to make sandwiches with ice cream spread between them. Someday I'll make a special batch of them, just to make the sandwiches. When I do, I'll make sandwiches with a variety of ice cream flavors—vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter chocolate chip, and strawberry all come to mind.


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