As you may know, my son (The Fabulous Baker Boy, as I call him on Instagram) baked his way to the bank this summer. You can read all about his baking adventures here. One of his customers requested peanut butter cookies and they turned out to be one of the most popular treats of the summer. The recipe he chose came from David Lebovitz’s book Ready for Dessert. They are magnificent and easy, easy, easy to make. David has you refrigerate the cookie dough, which really does improve the texture and they don’t spread out or lose the crosshatch pattern. The Fabulous Baker Boy used Skippy peanut butter, per David’s request not to use a natural, freshly ground version. I couldn’t agree more, even though I prefer to eat the all natural kind. Peanut butter made with hydrogenated vegetable oils will hold their shape better and won’t be as greasy or dense. One thing we found is that the texture changed considerably with the amount of baking. If you want a softer cookie, as David describes, you want to err on the side of underbaking slightly. Our cookies were more like peanut butter shortbread, because we made the cookies way bigger and baked them several minutes more, but we LOVED them like this. Maybe try a tray each way and decide which style you like better.
Peanut Butter Cookies from David Lebovitz, baked by The Fabulous Baker Boy. This recipe reflects the size and baking time that David suggests, but you’ll see the cookies my son made are 3x larger.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (that seems like a lot, but intentional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for top of cookies
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (Skippy or something else like it, not natural-style)
1 egg, room temperature
In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Using a 1-inch cookie/ice cream scoop, portion out the cookie dough and line them up on a baking sheet. They can be tightly packed, because you’ll be refrigerating them. Once they are chilled you can easily move them apart onto multiple baking sheets. I do this with most of my cookie dough, then I toss the chilled balls of dough into a plastic bag and freeze them. It is a great way to have cookie dough at the ready for a fast onset craving.
Refrigerate the dough for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Once you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment and position the dough balls on the sheets so they have plenty of room to be smushed down.
Generously cover the dough balls with sugar.
Using a glass, smush the cookies until they are about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough is sticking to the glass add more sugar next time.
make the crosshatch pattern with the tines of a fork.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes (or up to 12 if you like a crisper version).
Other treats from the Fabulous Baker Boy: