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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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