Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

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Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies with a crunchy, sugary topping.

In early January we celebrated my mother-in-law’s life with a party filled with good food, lots of wine and a ridiculous amount of cookies. She loved cookies. She loved baking them and gifting them to loved ones and eating them, too! That was a passion we both shared (along with books), which is probably why we got along so well. 

While talking with one of her friends, I mentioned how I wanted to do something to honor her this year, and her idea was brilliant: once a month bake cookies from either my mother-in-law’s recipe collection or the last cookbook she gifted me. Since I have recently loaned out her massive collection of recipes to other family members to photocopy, I have chosen a recipe from Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. The funny thing is, when I was given this cookbook, there were sticker tabs on recipes that caught my mother-in-law’s attention and today’s recipe is one of those recipes.

Peanut Butter Cookies with a crunchy, sugary topping.

There are literally thousands of different peanut butter cookie recipes available on the internet at any given moment. These peanut butter cookies are unlike any other recipe I have tried for one reason alone: the sprinkled turbinado sugar on the top of each cookie. The dough for these cookies is delicate, and if you attempt to roll them into a ball, you’re going to have a literal mess on your hands.

Peanut Butter Cookies with a crunchy, sugary topping.

While I was scooping out dough with my beloved ice cream scoop, my husband asked me why I was baking cookies on that particularly dreary Sunday afternoon. After telling him my plan to honor his mother with a cookie recipe each month of the year, he asked me why I didn’t make her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The same cookies his uncle brought to her memorial that wasn’t as good as his mother’s. The same cookies his cousin also brought to her memorial that wasn’t as good as his mother’s. They used the same exact recipe that she used. Yeah, I think I’m leaving that recipe alone for the time being.

After these bad boys came out of the oven, I waited for him to say something about how they weren’t as good as his mother’s (she made her’s with chocolate chips), but much to my surprise, he smiled and said, “Momma would have loved these!

Peanut Butter Cookies with a crunchy, sugary topping.
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Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
These peanut butter cookies adapted from Dorie's Cookies are light and crunchy and they freeze beautifully.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups, sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups, at room temperature creamy peanut butter
  • 2 sticks, at room temperature, cut into chunks unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2, at room temperature large eggs
  • 1 cup, finely chopped roasted peanuts
  • for sprinkling turbinado sugar
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. Set aside.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter, salt, and butter on medium speed until very smooth and a little bit fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating for another 3 minutes, With the motor still running, add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating before adding the next egg. With a spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients, and then mix with the mixer until combined. Add the chopped peanuts, and stir with the spatula one last time.Using a large spoon, cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, scoop out level portions of dough and place on the paired baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top of each cookie.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from the top to the bottom, front to back after about 10 minutes. Continue cooking until golden brown. Let the cookies cool slightly on the sheet, then move to a cooling rack. Let the sheets cool down before repeating with the remaining dough.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: about 2 dozen
Peanut Butter Cookies with a crunchy, sugary topping.

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe that reminds you of a beloved departed loved one?