I don't always need to reinvent the wheel. I need to remind myself of that from time to time. Classics are usually classics for a reason--a whole lot of people have liked something for a very long time. Sure, we all like to mix it up and make little changes from time to time. We've got to keep things interesting, you know? Other times, we just want something familiar. Something that reminds us of happy days, being a kid, times when things weren't so complicated. A classic cookie and a cold glass of milk can do that better than just about anything else I know.
I've already shared my absolute favorite best-ever chocolate chip cookies. Your response to them should've been my clue that you still clamor for classics among the spicy food, ethnic recipes, and Meatless Monday meals I share around these parts. So here you go, readers. My new favorite peanut butter cookie to close out my week of peanut butter recipes. A classic right down to the criss-cross pattern on the top. Because we all know that's part of the comfort in a peanut butter cookie.
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
from Joanne Chang, Flour
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. peanut butter (Chang calls for chunky, but I used smooth for that classic texture.)
2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1. Place oven racks in middle-lower and middle-upper positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
3. Beat in eggs and vanilla on medium speed until mixture is thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl.
4. Add in peanut butter and mix on medium-low speed until mixtures is smooth and completely combined, 2 minutes more.
5. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture in three additions, beating on low speed until just combined.
6. Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets. With a fork, make traditional criss-cross pattern on the top of each cookie. Bake 8-10 minutes, depending on if you prefer soft or crispy cookies, switching halfway through, or until golden brown around the edges and still pale in the center. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack 5 minutes, then remove and place directly on wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container up to one week. Makes approximately 6 dozen.