When the dog days of summer finally start giving way to the crisp, cool evenings of late August and early September, I start dreaming of fall. I dream of big, cozy sweaters and plaid shirts. I dream of favorite jeans that hug your body like they were made for you, and boots crunching through piles of fragrant fallen leaves. I dream of hayrides, and tea, and visits with old friends. I think of Initials carved into a tree by someone you love. These are the beautiful things that make life worth living and make you smile every time you remember them.
And cookies. Don’t forget cookies.
There is something so quintessentially fall about peanut butter cookies. That warm, brown loveliness that envelopes you and begs to be enjoyed with a cup of hot coffee? You just can’t beat it. So make a batch of these beauties. Take the kids on a picnic in the country. Savor the last beautiful days of summer. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
(Recipe originally from here and Allrecipes.com)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened,
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
3 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
extra sugar, for dusting
Cream together sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add in peanut butter, egg, milk, and vanilla until well mixed. Add in flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Refrigerate dough for several hours to keep cookies from spreading too much while baking. When you’re ready to bake, use a cookie scoop to portion and roll 1-2 tbsp. of dough in white sugar and use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on top. Bake cookies on a silpat lined baking sheet at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, just until edges are brown. Allow to rest on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
This recipe is super easy, which means you’ll have delicious, homemade cookies in no time. 😉 Isn’t it cool how adding “you will have cookies at the end” makes any job seem to be more bearable? Imagine if the world started doing that.
“Pay your taxes and there will be cookies at the end.”
“Clean the house and there will be cookies at the end.”
See? It just makes everything better. Start out by creaming together your white and brown sugar and room temperature butter until light and fluffy. Um . . . why room temperature? Always put your eggs, milk, butter– anything refrigerated– out on the counter about 1/2 hour before you’re ready to make cookies. The slightly softened butter and room temperature eggs will make your cookies much smoother and softer. Trust me on this.
Next, add in your peanut butter, egg, milk, and vanilla until well mixed. Once again, make sure your egg has been sitting out for about 1/2 hour. That will make it pleasantly cool, rather than frigid. No one likes a frigid person! Er . . . egg. Next, add in your flour, baking powder, and salt and mix slowly until just combined.
Now listen up students, and I will teach you the secrets of the universe. *mystical music swells in background* The key to good peanut butter cookies that don’t spread all over creation and become peanut butter pancakes (although, that doesn’t sound too bad. Peanut butter pancakes with Nutella syrup. Yesssss. *makes mental note to try that), is to put your cookie dough in the fridge for a few hours before you make your cookies. That will keep them chill and not let them spread as much when you bake them. This means that you will have the prettiest cookies at the bake sale. You will take over the cookie world!!!!! You’re welcome.
After your dough has chilled for a couple of hours, use a cookie scoop to evenly portion your cookies and roll them in white sugar. Use a fork to make the classic “criss cross” pattern on top of the cookies, and then bake them on a silpat lined baking sheet at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, just until the edges are starting to get golden brown. Allow the cookies to rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before you move them over to a cooling rack.
Since the cookies are so soft (because, after all, you are a brilliant god or goddess, and you used ROOM TEMPERATURE eggs and butter, so yeah. You’re always right and a bag of chips . . .), letting them sit for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets before moving them helps them to keep their shape. Did you ever see horribly misshapen cookies– almost oval ones? Yep. The person moved those sweet oval cookies off the sheets too soon. Beat the sheets. Wait until the cookies have slightly hardened to move them to a cooling rack. You’re welcome.
Of course, all that previous instruction about letting the cookies cool before taking one. *ahem* There is ONE slight addendum to that rule. And if you don’t tell the cookie police, I won’t either. Grab one of those suckers right off the baking sheet. Tell yourself you have to EAT IT RIGHT NOW or you will burn your fingers. Go ahead. Tell yourself that. That sounds good. Go with that.
Take a delicious, gooey peanut buttery bite. Go into a heavenly peanut butter coma. How ’bout those cookies, huh? That delicious, crispy outside, and the ooey, gooey soft inside? It’s bliss, I tell you. Bliss.
Make a nice big batch of these delightful beasts, because then when you eat a cookie or two, no one will be the wiser. 😉 Go for a picnic into the country. Take someone you love. Bring a big picnic blanket, and just laugh and have fun together. Enjoy an old friend, or maybe make a new one. Soak in the warm sunshine and savor the gloriously beautiful days of Indian Summer.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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