Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies
Last summer, I hired two high school students as recipe development interns (hi Jordan and Daryn!). As their first assignment, I asked them to gather up the best-looking peanut butter cookie recipes from the Internet and my cookbook collection. We narrowed it down to three promising recipes and made them all. The winner, hands down, was Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe from My Father’s Daughter. Admittedly, I was surprised — I’m always a little skeptical of celebrity cookbooks. But these are wonderfully thick, soft cookies with a rich peanut butter flavor and almost sandy texture. After making the cookies a few times, the girls and I made a few minor tweaks and ended up with what we think is the best peanut butter cookie around.
Begin by whisking together the dry ingredients.
Next, combine the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer.
Beat until smooth and creamy, about a minute.
Add the egg.
And mix to combine.
Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Finally, mix in the peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts (if using).
Form the dough into golf ball-sized balls on parchment-lined baking sheets.
Then use a fork to make a crisscross pattern and push the cookies down.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: This recipe is modestly adapted from Grandad Danner’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies in My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow. Our only changes were to replace the dark brown sugar with light brown sugar (just to simplify), omit the additional sugar for rolling (we found them a bit too sweet), and add chopped peanuts for texture. We also made a few tweaks to the method. To see the original recipe and read the rave reviews, click here.
Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with knife
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature (I like Skippy No Need To Stir)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup peanut butter chips
- 1/2 cup finely chopped salted peanuts
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds more. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts.
- Chill the dough for 1 hour (see note below). Set racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Using a 1-1/2-inch scooper with a wire scraper (if you don’t have one, use a spoon and your hands), form the dough into golf ball-sized balls on the prepared baking sheets. Using the tines of a fork, mark a crisscross pattern on the cookies, pressing them down slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through, until puffed and golden on the bottom. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. (Note: the cookies are very fragile when hot, so take care not to break them. They’ll firm up nicely as they cool.)
- Note: It is not absolutely necessary to chill the dough, however it is quite sticky and difficult to handle if you don't have a "cookie scooper." Chilling the dough makes it much easier to handle, but feel free to skip this step if you like.
- Serving size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 173
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 12g
- Sugar: 6g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 5g
- Sodium: 13mg
- Cholesterol: 78mg
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