Early Friday morning, I was looking for a fast cookie recipe that I could bake to bring to my mom’s this weekend (we had a long car trip planned and she was doing the driving; it was the least I could do to bring snacks). When I browsed through the cabinets for some inspiration and found a full jar of peanut butter begging to be used…which meant I needed a recipe for easy peanut butter cookies.
When I want to find a quick, classic cookie recipe, I usually head over to Martha Stewart Living. I find that while Martha’s chickens, pastas and roasts are usually advanced, complex, and require a kitchen full of her proprietary appliances, utensils and serveware, her cake and cookie recipes are often very simple (my motto is: the fewer the ingredients, the better the recipe. Exceptions do apply).
I’m not a peanut butter lover. I keep it in the house because it’s a good staple and you never know when you’re going to get that fifth grade flashback and NEED a PB&J – STAT.
But peanut butter cookies are A-OK with me. Not my favorite, but that was OK. They made my apartment smell fantastic for the rest of the day, and though some of them came out a tad bit overdone (that’s what I get for not setting an oven timer and thinking “I’ll just keep an eye on them” would be effective).
Though the thought of the 1 1/2 heaping cups of peanut butter sitting in the bowl kept me from eating more than one (really, not big on peanut butter) I would definitely recommend these cookies to anyone, from the peanut butter fanatic to the casual fan.
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together peanut butter, egg, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, if using, and salt until well combined.
- Using a 1¾-inch scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Using the tines of a fork, gently press down on each scoop in a crosshatch pattern. Sprinkle with sugar and transfer baking sheet to oven.
- Bake until slightly puffed, 11 to 12 minutes. Cookies will still be soft. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.