Almost everyone loves the rich crumbly texture and nutty flavor of a classic peanut butter cookie. The following peanut butter cookie recipe easily whips up a generous batch in just around 30 minutes. And you can double or triple the recipe with very little extra work, depending on the capacity of your food processor.
Planning tip: Be sure to chill the peanut butter in the refrigerator before making the cookies, though, so the dough won’t be sticky and will be firm enough to shape easily.
Packing suggestions for Christmas cookie gifts: Cool the cookies completely to room temperature before packing. Choose colorful decorative tins with airtight lids. Pack the cookies in single layers separated by sheets of waxed paper. (Allergy alert: A small but significant percentage of the population has serious, often life-threatening peanut allergies. Be sure to find out if your guests or gift recipients do before serving or giving these cookies. Always tell everyone very clearly and explicitly that there are peanuts in these cookies before serving them!)
For other great holiday gift ideas, see Christmas food baskets.
Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies
- 1 cup creamy unsalted peanut butter, chilled
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium eggs
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Put all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade. Pulse the machine on and off several times, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula, and continue to pulse just until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and resemble coarse crumbs.
- Carefully remove the blade from the processor work bowl. Scoop out a level tablespoon of the dough and, with your hands, gently roll it into a ball. Place the ball on a nonstick or lightly greased cookie sheet, or on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the balls about 2 inches apart. With a table fork, gently press down on each ball of dough to flatten it slightly; then, press down again at a right angle to the first pressing to give the top a crisscross pattern, flattening all of the cookies to circles just under 1/2 inch thick.
- Bake the cookies until their tops look dry and lightly browned and their bottoms are golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes. With a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly (if you want to enjoy them warm) or completely. Store in an airtight container.
Don’t forget to enjoy these delicious cookies the old-fashioned way, with an ice-cold glass of milk! (Got baking or cooking talent that needs expressing? Learn how to write a recipe!)