This post comes to us courtesy of writer and Williams-Sonoma creative consultant Laura Martin Bacon.
True peanut-butter lovers will tell you that the best way to enjoy this creamy, nutty miracle is straight from the jar. As one of them, I’ve always been skeptical about peanut butter cookies. I mean: why dilute the fun with something as ordinary as flour?
Cookie of the Day
Leading up to Christmas, we’ll be featuring one standout cookie recipe every day on The Blender. See them all here — let the holiday cookie exchanges begin!
So I’ve been enjoying my PB as a solo treat – occasionally garnished with a little bittersweet chocolate. And then last week, with all the magical serendipity of the season, a recipe popped up on my Facebook page with enough pure peanut power to make me reach for my cookie sheets.
It’s everything I love in a cookie: rich, decadent, playful – and super-easy. It’s also dairy and gluten-free, if you’re looking for a bit holiday virtue.
So I gathered a few of my favorite baking helpers and mixed up a batch of Bennye Taylor’s signature peanut butter cookies. After having eaten the entire blissful batch, I can say with happy certainty that (at least during holiday season), I’m enjoying my peanut butter hot from the oven.
Recipe: Bennye Taylor’s Fabulous Flourless Peanut Butter Bites
My helpers and I were in a festive free-for-all sort of mood, so we doubled the recipe, modified a couple of ingredients and added a healthy dose of chocolate (essential for pre-holiday energy). To be true to Bennye’s original, use all white sugar, skip the salt and chocolate, and sprinkle the cookies with sparkling sea salt just before baking. And stay tuned for Bennye’s new gluten-free cookbook: coming soon!
2 cups natural peanut butter
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup golden brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt for dough OR a sprinkling sea salt for garnish
Optional: 2 cups mini chocolate chips + 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.
In a medium bowl (or in your trusty stand mixer using the paddle attachment), mix the peanut butter, salt (unless you’re using sea salt as a garnish), sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture about 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets (Silpat is optional).
Flatten the mounds with the tines of a fork, making a crosshatch pattern on the cookies. (If you have chocolate chips in the dough, it may be easier to flatten cookies with a glass or your fingertips).
If you’ve elected not to use salt in the dough, sprinkle the cookies with sea salt.
Bake until golden around edges (about 10 minutes) switching the position of the pans halfway thorough baking.
Transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
When the cookies have cooled use a spoon to drizzle them with melted chocolate, Jackson Pollack-style. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
About the author: Laura is a longtime writer and creative consultant for Williams-Sonoma and other well-known entities. She’s also the Culinary Creative Director of DooF (“food” backwards), an organization that uses multi-media entertainment, education and live events to help kids and families discover the magic of food. DooF explores every aspect of food – from flavors, history, science and cultural traditions to the exciting journey from source-to-table. Laura’s mission: to make good food fun – at home, in the classroom and beyond.