Peanut Butter Cookies

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The idea of moderation makes a lot more sense when you’re not standing in front of a metal mixing bowl full of freshly whipped-up cookie dough.

You know exactly how much butter and sugar have gone into that bowl. You know it contains raw egg (from the farmers’ market, but still). But then you creamed it, added flour and chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and it became one of the most alluring substances on earth: cookie dough.

The dough beckons, of course. And it tastes really good, arguably better than the finished cookie.

I’ve heard Jackie O. stayed so thin by ordering entrees she didn’t like when she went out to eat. Moderation is easy when the waiter brings you a plate of sweetbreads and you hate offal.

So I guess you could say Jackie O. inspired me to make peanut butter cookies.  Unlike the rest of the world (it sometimes seems), I do not have a bottomless stomach and unfulfillable craving for peanut butter. I love BGSK Peanut Sauce. I like a good PB&J. Still, I used to hate peanut butter cookies, which is what made them the cookie to bake when I needed to bring sweets to friends but had little desire to consume several cookies’ worth of raw cookie dough in the process. No dough was eaten for years.

Trust Alice Medrich to ruin the perfectly calibrated system. She’s the author of Bittersweet, one of my two favorite chocolate cookbooks. In 2010, she wrote a cookie book called Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy. The Peanut Butter Cookies included on page 324 are to die for. I made them for Katie & Dan’s housewarming. I ate the dough. I dipped the cookies in milk and ate them too. They taste like the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup–even when they’re cooked.

From my kitchen, where I’m searching for a new cookie to hate, to yours,



Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy
Makes 36 cookies

Medrich recommends letting the dough rest in the fridge for 2 hours. You don’t have to, but it improves flavor and texture, so plan ahead if possible!

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups smooth natural peanut butter, stirred well before measuring.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Using a handheld or stand mixer (or your really strong arm with a wooden spoon), beat the sugars with the butter until it is smooth and creamy, but not fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and peanut butter, and mix until blended. Add the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Wrap up the dough and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Make balls out of 1 slightly rounded tablespoon’s worth of dough. Place the balls on the cookie sheet, then use the bottom of a glass–liberally dipped in flour between each cookie–to flatten them to a thickness of a little less than half an inch.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, until firm and very lightly golden on top. Turn the sheets back to front once while baking.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes, then use a spatula to gently lift them onto a rack. Cool completely.

Posted in: Baking For Others
  • Shayma

    I have all these ingredients at home and since I love anything sweet and salty this is going to be made very, very soon. Lovely recipe x s

  • Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray

    I’m done for. Seriously doubting whether these would make it to the oven.

  • Cassie @ Bake Your Day

    Why have I never thought of moderation that way? Although, I’m not really sure that it would work because I don’t think that there is a cookie that I’m not a fan of…I guess I just have to come to terms with the fact that raw cookie dough is a vice. I’m not ashamed that I’ll be trying these just to eat the cookie dough. They look amazing! 

  • Sweet Road

    Whaaat? Ordering food you don’t like? I could never do that! The only time I make exceptions to spend somewhat irrational amounts of money is on good food. I am way more willing to splurge on a dinner at a restaurant I’ve been meaning to try or some fancy chocolate than a pair of cute shoes, haha.

    This recipe looks great though, I have always wanted to find a peanut butter cookie that is on the verge of chewy- not as crunchy as most recipes. Thanks!

    • BGSK

      I certainly can’t do it in restaurants. Peanut Butter cookies were my one successful attempt to be like Jackie.

  • Annie

    I have never met a cookie I didn’t like.

    PB also happens to be my BIGGEST weakness…

    Sometimes life can be so tough.  *sigh*

  • Annie

    I have never met a cookie I didn’t like.

    PB also happens to be my BIGGEST weakness…

    Sometimes life can be so tough.  *sigh*

  • Meg W.

    yum! i am currently snacking on my modified version of your delicious recipe (they are taking the place of our healthy muffins this week, so i’m using spelt flour & oats, and a combination of demerra sugar & evaporated cane juice)… and the cookies have yet to come out of the oven (so yes, i am snacking on the dough!) oh – there’s the timer! now to try them baked :)

  • Siobhan@FoodFixe
  • Sarah Rhoads

    Anyone else have a problem making these cookies? My batter got really crumbly and they fall apart when I squish them. If no one else has had this problem, then I will assume I measured something wrong and I’ll try again. Feedback please!

    • BGSK

      Hm, it’s possible there’s slightly too much flour. One easy trick is simply to smush the dough together in your hand as you form each cookie – that should help it stick together.

      • Sarah Rhoads

        OK, I made a second batch and made sure everything was right. The only difference was that I used natural smooth peanut butter and the first time I used organic chunky peanut butter. They got alittle better but still kinda crumbly. Just trying to make sure this is the way these are supposed to be, and its not me.

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