Monday, January 9, 2012

The best peanut butter cookies you'll ever bake (or taste)

So far I haven't been eating very dangerously in 2012 but another of my resolutions has been to wean my kids off store bought cookies and snacks in favor of the homemade version.  To that end, I made my favorite peanut butter cookies yesterday for the lunch boxes this week.  Its an insanely easy recipe with a secret weapon - Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Minis. 

If you haven't encountered these little darlings, they are tiny peanut butter cups which come in a bag already unwrapped.  They're a bit bigger than a chocolate chip, which means they're a little too big to add to the cookie dough whole.  Sadly, the chef has to chop them lightly, which often causes one or two to leap off the cutting board and into the mouth of the person chopping.  Yeah, its a dirty job...

At any rate, if you can't find Reese's Minis, milk chocolate chips are a reasonable substitution.  Happy baking!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes ~24 cookies

1-1/2 cups flour

½ teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup smooth peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped miniature peanut butter cups or milk chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line with parchment two cookie sheets.

2. Whisk the flour and baking soda together and set aside.

3. Beat the butter and sugars together until well blended. Add egg, peanut butter and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat until just brought together.

4. Mix in peanut butter cups or chocolate chips (if using) by hand until well distributed.

5. Scoop into 1-inch cookies and criss cross the tops with a fork, pressing down lightly. A bit of water on the fork helps if the dough is soft.

6. Bake 12-14 minutes, watching carefully as they can burn rather quickly. Better to underbake than overbake so don’t let them get too brown.

7. Cool then store in an airtight container for up to a week.


• You can substitute almond butter, tahini or cashew butter for the peanut butter. I haven’t used chunky peanut butter but I imagine it would work just fine.
• Chocolate chips or peanut butter cups are optional but add a lot to the finished cookie.
• You can also add chopped nuts or other chunky items (toffee chips, crisped rice, etc.) to add texture.

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