Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut cookies are the kind of cookie everyone in my family is super excited to see cooling on a rack.  All of the members of my family are peanut freaks; you don’t want to get between us and a 5-pound bag of peanuts in the shell. Sometimes the floor in front of the TV is littered with so many bits of shells, it looks like some sort of saloon. I actually had to go to the hospital once because I cracked open a peanut so enthusiastically, I got part of the shell in my eye.  That’s the extent of peanut love that goes on in our house.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Salty-sweet has been all the rage for a long time, and in my house it’s still a fan favorite when it comes to all kinds of desserts.  That’s why I use salted cocktail peanuts in this recipe, and then just a moderate amount of salt added to the batter.  The peanut butter you use may have some salt added as well.  I have made these cookies with honey roasted peanuts, too, and that’s another level of toasty flavor in a fabulous cookie.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies: Chewy or crunchy, however you like them, with terrific peanutty flavor.

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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Moist Peanut Butter Cookies

Some peanut butter cookies can be dry, usually because there is too much flour in the batter, and not enough liquid or fat.  This recipe has a moderate proportion of flour to butter, so they will not be dry.  How soft or crunchy the cookies are will depend on the baking time.  

How Do I Know When Peanut Butter Cookies are Done?

They should be a light golden brown on top.  The cookies will become  considerably harder as they cool, so you want to take them out a couple of minutes before they are done to your liking.  They will continue to cook a bit and firm up as they sit for a minute on the baking sheet once they’ve come out of the oven, and then even a bit more as they finish cooling on a wire rack.  For chewy moist cookies, lean into a shorter baking time, for crunchy peanut butter cookies, leave them in for a few minutes longer.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Why Do You Put Fork Marks on Peanut Butter Cookies?

The dough for peanut butter cookies is very thick and dense, so they need to be pressed down in order to bake evenly.   Traditionally this is done by pressing down with the tines of a fork, in a cross-hatch pattern.  You could just press down the cookies with a glass or the palm of your hand, but those telltale hatch marks indicate that you are in the presence of a peanut cookie.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

The first record of this fork tine grid method is attributed to a recipe that appeared in the Schenectady Gazette in 1932.   The directions instructed the cook to “shape into balls and after placing them on the cookie sheet, press each one down with a fork, first one way and then the other, so they look like squares on waffles.”

What the Kids Can Do

Measure the ingredients; crack the egg; dump, stir, and blend the batter; form and crosshatch the cookies.

How Long Will Peanut Butter Cookies Last

Providing they aren’t all inhaled within hours, these cookies can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 7 days. Balls of the uncooked dough or the baked cookies can be frozen for up to 4 months. You can also refrigerate the dough (wrapped in plastic wrap) for up to 4 days before baking.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

How to Crush Peanuts

For 1 cup of crushed peanuts, place 1 1/2 cups of peanuts in a sturdy zipper-top bag and gently whack with a rolling pin or a wine bottle or something of that nature. Don’t crush them into a powder; you want some texture.  However, larger piece of peanuts may make the cookies fall apart a bit, so try not to leave any big chunks of peanuts.  The varying sizes of peanuts in the cookie will provide varying bits of crunchiness in every bite.

What to Serve with Peanut Cookies

Coffee!  Café au lait!  Lattes! Milk! Or maybe a chocolate martini.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Other Cookie Recipes:

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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Chewy or crunchy, however you like them, with terrific peanutty flavor.
Yield: 36 people
Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed salted or lightly salted cocktail peanuts (see Note)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Beat the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy in a medium-size bowl using an electric mixer. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Mix in the crushed peanuts.
  • Form the dough into about 18 (1½-inch) balls and divide them between two baking sheets. Use a fork to press down on the cookies, creating a crosshatch pattern as you flatten them to about 1/2-inch thick.
  • Bake the cookies until very lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes—they will still be soft to the touch but will firm up as they cool. Let them cool for 1 minute on the baking sheets and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

How to Crush Peanuts for Peanut Cookies

For 1 cup of crushed peanuts, place 1 1/2 cups of peanuts in a sturdy zipper-top bag and gently whack with a rolling pin or a wine bottle or something of that nature. Don’t crush them into a powder; you want some texture. However, larger piece of peanuts may make the cookies fall apart a bit, so try not to leave any big chunks of peanuts. The varying sizes of peanuts in the cookie will provide varying bits of crunchiness in every bite.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.4mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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Comments

  1. When I was a small pre schooler in the early ’60s, I had no concept of ingredients, baking times, or what have you. But when my Mom put these peanut butter cookies in front of me I would declare “CRISS-CROSS COOKIES!”. I have called them this ever since.

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