Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Peanut Butter Cookies





Did you know that peanuts are not really nuts, but are members of the legume (bean) family? I had no idea until I took a botany classification class in grad school. It is also known as a groundnut because the flower of the peanut plant bends to the ground and pushes the ovary underground where it matures. Peanuts were domesticated around 2000 BCE in South America.

They can be prepared many different ways, but one of my favorite ways is in the form of peanut butter. Peanut butter is one of life’s comfort foods or at least it’s one of my comfort foods. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich can instantly take you back to your childhood. Peanut butter cookies are one of my absolute favorite cookies. I’ve spent a long time and made MANY batches of them and according to my husband I have perfected the recipe. I don’t know if it’s really perfect, but I LOVE them. While it’s not necessary to put the fork marks on the top of the cookies (I skipped that part for a while), I kinda like having the marks. They are characteristic of peanut butter cookies and they do seem to alter the texture just a little bit by compressing the center of the cookie. I have tried several different brands and types of peanut butter. We prefer the results that I get with Jif’s creamy peanut butter*. I tried using their natural peanut butter, as that is the one I use on my toast and for sandwiches, but we didn’t care for the texture of the cookie. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

*I do NOT receive any compensation from Jif. This is just the particular brand I use and I like the results that I get. You can use whatever brand you like.


Ingredients:

1¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine sticks
cup creamy peanut butter (you can use chunky if you prefer)
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ all-purpose flour for making cross marks (optional)

·      Preheat oven to 375°F.
·      Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. (I use both)
·      Combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk.
·      Beat the margarine and butter on high in your mixing bowl.
·      Add the brown and granulated sugars. Beat until combined.
·      Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.
·      Pour the flour mixture in to the mixing bowl and beat until completely combined.
·      Roll 1 tbsp of dough into a ball and place on a lined cookie sheet.
·      Place balls about 2 inches apart.
·      If you are going to make the cross marks, lightly rub the tines of a fork in the flour.
·      Press the tines across the center of the cookie twice, once going horizontally and then vertically.

·      Bake for 7-9 minutes. The bottoms should be lightly browned.
·      Cool on a wire rack, if you can wait that long.



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