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Peanut Butter Cookies

To give these cookies a decorative touch, pipe melted chocolate into the indentations made by the fork tines: Fit a pastry bag with a very small plain tip. 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.

Ingredients:

  • 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 egg
  • 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)

Directions:

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 (Oxmoor House, 2009).