Every month or so, my high school girlfriends get together for a girls’ night. We drink wine and raspberry beer, catch up, tease each other and reminisce about our awesome fashion and stripy highlights we had back in the 90’s and early 2000’s.
The month of October was a fondue party, and I wanted to bring something super yummy for dessert to dip in the chocolate. Everyone likes the dessert fondue the best, anyway. When I was trying to figure out my plan, Steve generously offered to make THE peanut butter cookies for me to take to the party. Of course I took him up on the offer. His stuff always tastes the best. Right before I ran out the door, I piled up the freshly baked cookies pretty high and wrapped up the platter in plastic wrap. I figured I was bringing way more than enough, and my secret plan was to munch on all the leftovers on my way home that night.
I walked into the party with the intentions of my friends dipping them into the chocolate fondue pot. But it turned out that the plastic wrap was peeled off right away and almost half of them were devoured during the appetizer cheese fondue course. I even eyed the party host secretly stashing a few cookies away, hiding them in a napkin to share with her husband once we all left her house. It was a sneaky tactic I would totally do, too. No one can resist these things! The key to them being so good is that whenever Steve plans to bake something, he’ll Google “Best _______________”, then secretly modify the recipe to pretty much become the “Best _______________ Ever.” The time he searched for “best peanut butter cookies” and made his personal improvements, he was truly on to something.
From what I’ve observed, the reason his cookies are so good has something to do with how long he creams the butter with the sugar. It’s also the short amount of time he bakes them in the oven. Steve’s not a fan of crunchy cookies, and would prefer them to be underbaked before he’d ever serve a cookie that’s a little too crispy. So much for my secret plan of gobbling up all the extra cookies on my drive home. There wasn’t even a crumb left over after the fondue party. And while I was out for the evening, someone else had a secret plan going on back home. When I tip-toed through our apartment that night, it was super late and Steve was fast asleep. On his bedside table was the evidence. A big empty bowl with a little bit of melted ice cream and peanut butter cookie crumbs sitting at the bottom. I think we both had a perfect night.
So do your husband/boyfriend/mother-in-law/high school friends a favor and go out and buy the ingredients. But when you make these, do not even attempt to taste the dough. Not even a little bit. You won’t end up with any finished cookies if you do that.
Photo credit: Matthew Land Studios
The Best Peanut Butter Cookies… Ever:
1 cup + 4 TBS peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 TBS milk
1 TBS vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag of peanut butter chips
3/4 cup sugar (for rolling dough balls, may need more or less)
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the peanut butter and butter. Once combined, beat in both the white and brown sugars and cream for about seven minutes. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently add to the creamed mixture and mix until almost combined. Do not over mix the flour with the creamed mixture or your cookies will end up very dry. Fold in peanut butter chips by hand. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes in the fridge.
Roll small mounds of dough into balls. Gently roll the dough balls in the sugar before placing on the baking sheet. Carefully press each ball with fork tines to create a criss-cross pattern. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are slightly browned. The middle of the cookies will appear to be not fully baked – the cookies will continue to bake as they cool on the baking sheet when removed from the oven. After 5-10 minutes, carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.