Make Ahead

Peanut Butter Cookies

December  1, 2011
11 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

So, this post is coming a little late in the game. For months now, Amanda has been saying I should write a blog post about all of the cravings I've had over the course of my pregnancy. (For those of you who have been asking, I'm due January 15th, and we're expecting a little girl.) And for months I've resisted.

Perhaps this is because, for the most part, my cravings haven't been all that weird. Sure, for the first few months when I wasn't feeling great, I subsisted on lemonade and pickles, and there was that brief phase where I simply had to stop and get an order of Rickshaw dumplings on my way home from the office most nights (my pre-dinner dinner). But for the most part, I've been enjoying most of the same food I normally eat–just slightly more of it.

The one thing I have craved pretty much consistently over the past 8 months is cookies. I've always liked cookies of pretty much all sorts, but lately they've become a bit of an obsession–especially when I can enjoy them with a tall glass of milk. Over the next few weeks, as I approach my due date, I thought I'd share some of my all-time favorite cookie recipes with all of you. I figured the timing couldn't be better with the holidays already upon us, and it's great excuse to revisit some of the cookie recipes from my childhood, which were made with love and dexterity by my wonderful mother.

What I'd really like, though, is for all of you to share your favorite pregnancy craving stories in the comments section below–and, if you're feeling up to the challenge, add any craving-inspired recipes to Food52. Got a great lemonade up your sleeve? Fantastic hot fudge sundae? Something genius using pickles and/or peanut butter? We want to see these creations! And keep in mind, we're always on the hunt for Wildcards... Just sayin'.

My mother used to make these cookies regularly when I was growing up, and they continue to be the standard to which I compare all other peanut butter cookies. This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (First Edition). —Merrill Stubbs

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes about 4 dozen cookies
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (not the unsweetened kind)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand blender, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Beat in the two sugars until light, about 3 minutes.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl once to make sure they're evenly incorporated. Add the salt, baking soda and flour and beat just until combined.
  3. Give the dough one last fold with a spatula. You can chill the dough and then roll it into balls (about 3/4-inch in diameter), or arrange heaping teaspoonfuls of the soft dough directly on parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Use the back of a fork dipped in flour to gently flatten each cookie and make a crosshatch pattern
  4. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden and just firm around the edges. Let them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. These will keep in an airtight container for several days, but they are best while fresh!

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