Celebrating peanut butter treats

Cooking with Cathie

editorial@sierrastar.comJune 3, 2014 

Even though I am not all that crazy about peanut butter, I realize most people love it, so when I found out that June 12 is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day, I thought, "Hey, I should write a column about this!" So, here are some hand-picked recipes just for you. I can already smell those fresh-from-the-oven peanut butter cookies as they cool off on the racks. Maybe I'll have just one ... (sure).

Great peanut butter cookies

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. In a large bowl, mix peanut butter and unsalted butter until well blended. Add the sugars and the egg; mix well.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Add mixture to peanut butter mixture and combine well. Refrigerate cookie dough at least 1 hour.
  3. For light and crispy cookies, form into 1-inch balls. Flatten with fork and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes.
  4. For soft and chewy cookies, form into balls just a little larger than the 1-inch ones. Flatten with fork and refrigerate 15 minutes (on greased cookie sheet). Bake at 300 for 15 minutes.

Note: Chilling the dough makes the butter more firm, for the softer cookies.

Makes about 24 light and crispy cookies and about 18 of the soft and chewy ones.

Peanut butter chocolate sandwich cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Chocolate filling:

  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

  1. For the cookies: Position a rack in center of oven and heat oven to 350. Line four cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners.
  2. In a large bowl beat the peanut butter, brown sugar and baking soda on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on low speed until just blended, about 25 seconds.
  3. Shape level 1/2 tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls about 1/2 inch in diameter. Arrange the balls 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Do not press down. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies are puffed and crackled but still moist-looking, about 11 minutes. Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack to cool about 10 minutes. Using a spatula, move the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
  4. For the filling: Melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave or in a medium heatproof bowl set in a skillet with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside until cool and slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. To assemble sandwiches: Turn half of the cooled cookies over so they are flat side up. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the chocolate filling onto the center of each cookie. Top with the remaining cookies, flat side down. Press gently on each cookie to spread the filling almost to the edge. Set on the rack until the filling is firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Makes about 60 cookies.

Peanut butter molasses cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (or butter-flavored shortening)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, beat together the molasses, shortening, peanut butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until combined.
  4. Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are firm and tops crack a bit. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Makes about 2 dozen.

Three-ingredient peanut butter cookies

Very easy!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Stir the ingredients together until smooth. Scoop onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. (Roll into 1-inch balls with your hands, if you do not have a scoop.) Press down with the back of a fork and then press again from the opposite direction, to form the criss-cross pattern on top.
  2. Note: These cookies will not spread. You can bake the full recipe on a single tray, if you would like. Bake for 12 minutes and then let cool on the tray for 1 to 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 18 cookies.

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