My hands-down favorite, absolute best, tip-top recipe resources are my friends and family. Aren’t we all a thousand times more likely to try a recipe from a trusted friend than something random from blogs, cookbooks, or food magazines? Maybe it depends on the palates of one’s friends. Luckily, my people have darn good taste.
This recipe for peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies is my latest example of a gourmet friend tipping me off to a delicious recipe. My friend Jennifer noted in her Christmas card to me that she’d been making Smitten Kitchen’s peanut butter cookies to rave reviews. I looked up the recipe, started salivating, and jumped in the car to get peanut butter chips and a big jar of Skippy.
Jennifer and I started our food friendship in college. We spent four years getting excited about Charlottesville’s fanciest menus, sweetest sheet cakes, and greasiest burgers. In more recent years, we’ve hosted thematic cooking parties where we’ve tested dishes from our favorite authors (like our Smitten Kitchen Cookbook dinner party). Now that I live in a different time zone, the best we can do is swap recipes from afar. It’s not nearly as fun as cooking and eating together, but it has its own rewards…like these cookies.
They are maximally peanut buttery with a soft texture that gets the tiniest bit crunchy from a sugar coating. Every so often you get a bite of chocolate chip, which keeps things interesting and that much sweeter. I’ve shared these cookies with a couple sets of new friends and the consensus is that it’s impossible to eat just one (the cookies are relatively small, so it’s totally okay to eat a stack). An added bonus is that the dough is very freezer-friendly, so a fresh batch is always just an oven pre-heat away.
Thanks to Jennifer and to all of my east coast friends for keeping me in good recipes in my new midwestern world.
peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies
adapted from smitten kitchen
The only trick to this recipe is getting the baking time right. The range is for 10-12 minutes and I’ve found 12 to be ideal for my oven. You really don’t want to overbake them or they get too crunchy and a little dry. Even if they seem underdone when you first pull them out, they will firm up as they cool.
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup peanut butter chips
½ cup milk chocolate chips
for rolling: 1/8 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (optional).
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer), beat the butter and peanut butter on medium speed until combined and fluffy. Add the granulated and light brown sugars and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the egg; mix well. Add the vanilla and milk and mix to incorporate. Add the flour mixture and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.
Place the 1/8 cup of granulated sugar in a separate bowl. Scoop the dough by rounded teaspoons, roll into balls by hand, and roll in the sugar until coated. Set the cookie balls several inches apart on the cookie sheets. Using a fork or two fingers, slightly press the cookies (don’t flatten them). [Note: if cookie dough is getting too warm and sticky, place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up.]
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Don’t overbake—even if they appear underdone, they are not.
Cool the cookies on the cookie sheets for two minutes, then gently remove them to a rack to cool completely.
To freeze: place unbaked dough balls on a cookie sheet in the freezer for about half an hour, or until firm. Once firm, place in a plastic bag or other freezer container. Bake frozen cookies at 350º F for 10-13 minutes.