Holiday season is cookie season! We are all about cookies this month: baking, decorating, gifting and hosting the classic cookie exchange. Today, we’re kicking off 30 days of holiday cookies, so be sure to check back every day for a new recipe! And for more inspiration and great recipes, visit our Cookie Central page.
These classic cookies spotlight one of the most nostalgic flavors: rich, creamy, sweet-salty peanut butter. We gently press the tops with a fork to create a pretty pattern, but you can also take them to the next level by piping melted chocolate into the indentations. Fit a pastry bag with a small plain tip, then fold down the edge of the bag, creating a cuff, and fill the bag no more than halfway full with the chocolate. Unfold the top and twist it to squeeze the chocolate toward the tip. Holding the bag at a 45-degree angle with one hand, and leaving a small gap between the tip and the cookie, squeeze the bag to release the chocolate in a line.
Peanut Butter Cookies
8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (10 oz./315 g) creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups (7 oz./220 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 oz. (90 g) semisweet chocolate, melted (optional)
In a large bowl, using an electric mixture on medium speed or a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until well blended.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed or stir with the wooden spoon just until combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Generously grease 2 baking sheets.
With dampened hands, shape the dough into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Using the tines of a fork dipped in flour, lightly press on each dough ball to flatten slightly and make a pattern of parallel indentations.
Bake the cookies until the bottoms are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool briefly. Using a wide, flexible metal spatula, transfer the warm cookies to the racks and let cool completely. If desired, use a pastry bag fitted with a narrow tip to pipe melted chocolate into the grooves of each cookie. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book, edited by Chuck Williams.