CHEW THIS! Comforting Peanut Butter Cookies

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, July 11th 2020 edition. By: Blaise Doubman. This column also appeared in “The Shelbyville News”.

Comforting Peanut Butter Cookies
Blaise Doubman

I love peanut butter cookies! Most of all though, I love how peanut butter cookies are so versatile. They are literally a blank canvas just waiting on your creativity! Dip or drizzle them in chocolate, white chocolate or even a combination of the two. Sprinkle them with chopped peanuts or place a chocolate kiss candy in the middle. Even better yet why not add a teaspoon of your favorite jam or jelly in the center of the cookie once them come out of the oven! Any and all combinations you can dream up sound perfectly delicious to me! With this recipe that I am sharing, there is an extra hint of vanilla and a little more chewiness than most cookies. A lot of people use the “go to” peanut butter cookie recipe of 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup white granulated sugar and 1 egg method. But, to me, those have a tendency to be dry and almost too thick. These are a little thinner, have a little more chew and have a lot more flavor.

Whenever I smell peanut butter cookies warm from the oven, I tend to think of “Duck Creek Schoolhouse and Fudge Shop” that used to be in Metamora, Indiana. Does anyone else remember that place? It was a red schoolhouse located in the heart of Metamora and on their most popular days, would have a line of people wrapped clear around the building for their candies and fudge. I remember my Grandma Barbra and I going to the Metamora Christmas Walk event that they would have every year and she would not leave the schoolhouse without stocking up on divinity, maple walnut fudge, peanut butter fudge, chocolate fudge and of course some of their cookies. I remember one time a lady recognizing us who worked there, from mostly buying out their entire supply of divinity, and telling us that a business man came in, bought their divinity recipe and they were no longer allowed to make it. Years later that story still sticks with me and I often wonder who that businessman was and what that story was all about. Is he making it somewhere now and selling it? Isn’t it funny how particular smells can transport you down memory lane, bringing up all kinds of memories and stories? I hope that you will try these cookies and make some new delicious memories of your own.

Comforting Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies can be sealed in a plastic storage container and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also drizzle them in melted chocolate or white chocolate if you wish. Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top for an extra crunch, sprinkle with white granulated sugar or even Turbinado sugar. These are delicious any way you have them!

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups white all-purpose flour

Start by combining the softened unsalted butter with the smooth peanut butter, white granulated sugar and light brown sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the 2 large eggs.

Beat in the baking soda dissolved in the whole milk, baking powder, pure vanilla extract and salt. Stir everything together well to ensure that the ingredients are mixed.

Fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough into tablespoon size balls and place them onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2-inches between each cookie.

Flatten each slightly with a wet fork.

Bake, one baking sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 12 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

Ask and Answer: A lot of people write to me wondering what my favorite method of cookie baking is when it comes to either parchment paper of silicone baking mats. I have tried my fair share of baking mats over the years and just do not care for them! I always use parchment paper for my cookies, as well as some of my brownies and cakes. I find that the silicone baking mats have a hard time in keeping their shape, especially after using multiple times.

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