Growing up, my family had a few go-to cookie recipes. We, of course, made chocolate chip cookies. There was a variation that called for 4 different types of chips. And there was the peanut butter cookie.
I’m sure my mom still has the same printed version in a binder somewhere, but other than using margarine, the recipe was unremarkable: we did the cross-hatch with a fork on top, and it was a sweet, nutty cookie.
When I thought about making peanut butter cookies, I actually hesitated for whether it was as popular as I imagined. I recently learned that peanut butter is uniquely popular in North America. And peanut allergies make it a complete nonstarter for others. However, when I checked with potential recipients, I only got enthusiastic responses, so I tried out the Bravetart recipe.
Like most Bravetart recipes, there’s a nontrivial trick involved. In this case, peanut butter isn’t enough flavor: she calls for ground honey-roasted peanuts to be incorporated into the flour.
I also had to figure out what peanut butter to use. Peanut butter certainly varies more than all-purpose flours in their composition and flavor. Creamy or crunchy? Sugar added? Natural? I ended up going for creamy Skippy Natural peanut butter because it’s a well-known national brand and also recommended for another upcoming recipe.
Although Bravetart calls for some unconventional and often laborious steps, she does also really simplify the recipe when possible. In this case, all of the other dry ingredients go in at the beginning to be creamed with the butter and sugar.
I continue to be amazed by the difference creaming butter can make. The picture on the left is pre mixing, and the picture on the right is after just a few minutes. The difference in color isn’t just the camera: it really is much lighter after incorporating the air.
The dough instantly thickened with the flour and peanut powder, but it actually remained remarkably light. I took that as a good sign that we would have tender cookies.
Bravetart included specific instructions for storing the dough and baking later. Although I typically have been finishing the cookies in one pass, I actually refrigerated the dough balls to be baked and sent off later.
Especially with a baby now, it was much easier to spread the work into multiple, shorter chunks of time.
The dough balls were quite large, so I’m glad I left plenty of room for them to spread. Even without pressing them into pucks or using a fork, they developed a nice pattern of cracks across the top.
Eaten fresh, the cookies were delicious. They are actually nutty but little bits of peanut not completely pulverized (but still smaller than in chunky peanut butter). They also had a nice balance of chew on top and crunch on bottom. Definitely a favorite among the cookie recipes so far this year.
You can find the recipe for Bravetart Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies here. And if you’re really into peanut butter cookies, check out this post on The Pancake Princess with a very detailed comparison of various recipes.