Cooking with Alison

Best Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

In Cookies, Desserts on July 19, 2014 at am
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Salted Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Cookies Recipe

I started my search for the best peanut butter cookie recipe years ago.  I decided to take a break (i.e. give up) after making more than a dozen “okay” batches.  Luckily, John encouraged me to try again (peanut butter cookies are his favourite), or else I might never have discovered two great recipes.  Both recipes make cookies that are crispy on the outside, beautifully chewy on the inside, and full of peanut butter flavour.  Personally, I like the flavour of the first recipe more, because it’s not as sweet (I don’t really like sweets).  But the second recipe posted below is great too, because you get a texture that is even chewier than the first.  Normally, I prefer peanut butter cookies plain, but these cookies are perfect with chocolate chunks/chips.

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Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Cookies Recipe

The first recipe comes with weights for all of the ingredients, so you are more likely to have consistent results each time.

The second recipe only provides the measurements/volume of the ingredients, so it’s a great go-to recipe if you’re feeling lazy.  

  

Salted Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Cookies Recipe

makes approximately 24 cookies; adapted from Orangette and the moveable feasts   (Note:  It is better to weigh all of the ingredients than it is to measure them out.  Also note that the original recipe called for 240 grams (2 cups plus 1 tsp) of pastry flour instead of all purpose and cake flour.)

 
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup of cake flour (see my cake flour substitution here)
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (12 grams) coarse kosher sea salt
275 grams (approximately 2 sticks + 3.5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
200 grams (approximately 1 1/4 cups) lightly packed light or dark brown sugar  (Note:  The original recipe calls for dark brown sugar, but I personally prefer the flavour of these cookies when made using light brown sugar.)
170 grams (approximately 3/4 cup + 2.5 tablespoons) of granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
400 grams (approximately 1 1/2 cups) creamy peanut butter  (Note:  Natural creamy peanut butter is best, but I’ve made these cookies with great success using processed smooth peanut butter.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
scant 3/4 cup (or more to taste) of milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips or 6 ounces (or more to taste) milk chocolate bar, coarsely chopped (Note:  Do not substitute for dark, bittersweet, or unsweetened chocolate.  Milk chocolate is the perfect balance for the peanut butter which can be slightly bitter.)

 

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the pastry flour (or cake flour and all purpose flour if using instead), baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy over medium high speed.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until each egg has been fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next one.  Add the vanilla extract and peanut butter, and mix on low speed until just incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients in three separate batches and mix on the lowest speed between additions until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Then add the chocolate chips or chunks and use a rubber spatula to gently fold them into the cookie dough.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the rack set in the middle of the oven.  Using a cookie dough scoop, drop even mounds of cookie dough onto a silpat (silicone) mat lined baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.  I usually only bake 6 cookies at a time.  I like to scrape off excess dough using the edge of the bowl, so that my mounds of cookie dough are even and have a flat bottom.  At this step, if the cookies are not as thin or flat as you would like after being baked, very gently use slightly moistened hands (with water) to press down on the top of each cookie but do not press down too much.  Then place the cookie sheet with cookies into the freezer, until the cookie dough is firm, about 10 to 20 minutes.  It does not necessarily need to be completely frozen through.  Bake until the edges start to become golden brown and the middle is just set, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Do not overbake these cookies or the middles will not have a nice chewy texture.  When done, transfer the cookie sheet to a cool surface or rack and allow the cookies to cool on the sheet, until they are firm enough to be moved in one piece.  Then, using a rubber spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.  Repeat this process with the remaining cookie dough.  Ideally you would have one baking sheet of dough chilling in the freezer while another sheet is baking in the oven.  These cookies are best enjoyed the day they were baked.  Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Alternatively, you could freeze the baked cookies.  Simply defrost at room temperature or in the microwave.

  

Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Cookies Recipe

 
makes approximately 24 cookies; adapted from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito’s Baked: New Frontiers in Baking (Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe), original recipe posted here. Note that these are great without the chocolate, too.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
scant 1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup lightly packed light or dark brown sugar  (Note:  The original recipe calls for dark brown sugar, but I personally prefer the flavour of these cookies when made using light brown sugar.)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  (Note:  Try using Mexican vanilla extract for a subtly different flavour.)
1 cup creamy and smooth peanut butter
scant 3/4 cup (or more to taste) of milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips or 6 ounces (or more to taste) milk chocolate bar, coarsely chopped  (Note: Chocolate is optional. But if you do use chocolate, do not substitute for dark, bittersweet, or unsweetened chocolate.  Milk chocolate is the perfect balance for the peanut butter which can be slightly bitter.)

In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, white sugar, and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy over medium high speed.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until each egg has been fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next one.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla extract and peanut butter, and mix on low speed until just incorporated.  Add half of the dry ingredients and mix on the lowest speed for 15 seconds.  Then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix on the lowest speed until just combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the chocolate chips or chunks and use a rubber spatula to gently fold them into the cookie dough.  (Note:  At this point, the original recipe suggests that the dough be chilled in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 3 hours prior to being scooped out and baked.  However, for the best chewy texture, I prefer to freeze the balls of scooped dough prior to baking, instead.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with the rack set in the middle of the oven.

Method 1: (I prefer this method, although it is messier, more time consuming, and will give you flatter, more wrinkly cookies. The perfect chewy texture will last for days.) Use a spoon to scoop out cookie dough into moistened hands. Putting some water on your hands will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Very gently, using your fingers, form the dough into rough sphere shapes. Place the balls of dough onto a silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.

Method 2: (This method is faster and less messy.) Using a cookie dough scoop, drop even mounds of cookie dough onto a silpat (silicone) mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.  I like to scrape off excess dough using the edge of the bowl, so that my mounds of cookie dough are even and have a flat bottom.  Very gently use slightly moistened hands (with water) to press down on the top of each cookie.  This will give you a flatter cookie.  Do not press down too much.

Then place the cookie sheet with cookies into the freezer, until the cookie dough is firm, but not completely frozen through, no more than 20 minutes.  Bake until the edges start to brown and the middle is just set, about 12 minutes.  Do not overbake these cookies.  If you are finding that the edges are burning before the middle is done, turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.  When done, transfer the cookie sheet to a cool surface or rack and allow the cookies to cool on the sheet, until it can be moved in one piece, up to 5 minutes.  Then, using a rubber spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat this process with the remaining cookie dough.  Ideally you would have one baking sheet of dough chilling in the freezer while another sheet is baking in the oven.  These cookies are best enjoyed the day they were baked.  Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Alternatively, you could freeze the baked cookies.  Simply defrost at room temperature or in the microwave.

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  1. Love love love peanut butter cookies! Need to try this!

  2. Ooooooo I’m gonna try these!!! Did you use salted or unsalted peanut butter?

  3. i can seriously never go past a peanut cookie.. love that you added chocolate as well. i can imagine how good these would have tasted!

  4. Hi! I made these tonight and they truly are the BEST peanut butter cookies!! The cookies just melt in your mouth -scrumptious! I can’t wait to try your shortbread recipe 🙂

    • Hi Sandra! I’m so glad you liked the peanut butter cookies! I can’t wait to hear what you think of the shortbread cookies 🙂 I find the shortbread cookies a bit finicky, so I wish you the best of luck!

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