Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crumbly & Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

Some mornings I just wake up craving something that I haven't eaten in years...and this morning it was the salty sweetness of an old fashioned peanut butter cookie. Not sure if it's the cold weather or the holiday season, but when I get something in my head, I usually have to face it. And that's just what I did. When it comes to old fashioned cookies, I turn to 2 ladies: Martha and Nancy. Martha, of course, being Martha Stewart. and Nancy Baggett, author of "The All-American Cookie Book", among others. This recipe comes from Nancy Baggett's cookbook, and it is simple and delicious. What you see is what you get. The recipe yields a good 40 cookies, they are beautiful and so, so good.

Classic Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (or margarine), slightly softened
3 tablespoons peanut or corn oil
2 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups crunchy or smooth peanut butter
about 2 tablespoons sugar, for topping

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, set aside.
In a bowl fitted with an electric mixer, beat together the brown sugar, sugar, butter, and oil. Beat until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter, and beat on medium speed until combined. Refrigerate the dough for about 15 minutes or for as long as you need until you are ready to form the cookies.
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease several baking sheets with non-stick spray. Use a mini ice-cream scooper or a tablespoon to form the batter into balls (about a heaping tablespoon each). Flatten the balls slightly into disks, and place on the baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Use the back of a fork to form 'criss cross' markings in the center of each cookie. Sprinkle the sugar over the tops of each cookie, and bake, 10-12 minutes. You will be able to tell from the smell in your home that they are just about ready- golden brown, soft but crisp- rich but light. This is a really good cookie.
 Combine the dry and wet ingredients
 Add your favorite peanut butter
 Use an electric mixer to combine
 Scoop into heaping tablespoon-sized balls
 Flatten and "criss cross" using the back of a fork
 Sprinkle with sugar
Bake and eat!

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