Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies – These are to Chocolate Chips as Turkeys are to Eagles

This classic peanut butter cookie recipe has me thinking about something I saw on the history channel a few months ago, about how the bald eagle became our national bird, instead of the wild turkey.

While the regal eagle was the popular choice, many, including Benjamin Franklin, argued that the lesser attractive turkey was more deserving. Not only was it truly indigenous, but they also argued it was more courageous, and unlike the eagle, was not a lowly scavenger. Of course, we all know how that one turned out.

Now, I don’t think America has an official national cookie designation, but if it did, I bet you a Benjamin (see what I did there?) that the ever-popular chocolate chip would beat out peanut butter cookies for the honor. It would be eagle vs. turkey all over again.

Sure the chocolate chip is always popular, and more visually enticing, but when you compare the relative historical significance to American culture, the peanut far eclipses the chocolate chip. I mean, come on, is there even a “Mr. Chocolate Chip?” I don’t think so.

By the way, let me go ahead and answer the obvious question that’s probably on many of your minds right now… no, I don’t have anything more important to worry about. I hope you give this peanut butter cookie, America’s cookie, a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients (makes about 24):
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp fine table salt)
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
*Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10 minutes

65 comments:

Dawn's Recipes said...

#OMG (See what I did there?) I can't believe you don't roll the balls of dough in sugar before flattening them out! That's got to be the most fun part. Even better than the stampa-stampa! ;)

Chef John said...

Yeah, I've never been a big sugar roller, but respect them's that are. ;)

Anonymous said...

OMG - these are hubby's favorite! Thanks Chef John for keeping cooking fun...and funny :>) Jan

kiwikar said...

I'm so tempted to try this, but we here in Germany don't have your cup measurements! Meh... Now I have to look it all up :(.

Erica said...

Aw I need a blender. :( the ollll' stampa stampa?? Never heard of that one before! :D

Kelly said...

Heh,when I read the title of this post, I thought "What, Ben Franklin liked them better?" Then I went on to read the post, and discovered you were thinking along the same lines, sort of. :)

Ana N. said...

I think I might be the opposite of everyone I know because I didn't really like peanut butter...in anything, ever...until AFTER my childhood was over by a few years.. And so, as a somewhat new peanut butter convert, thanks for the recipe. I'm so excited to make them!

MoonFaCe said...

Always exciting to see a new post from you , I am definitely a Benjamin !

So you don't cook these on the middle rack?

straw1880 said...

Hi Chef John, these cookies are definitely something im going to try out. But I dont own an electric mixer, do you think it'll be okay if I just attempt to mix everything together by hand?
thank you for the amazing recipes!

Madonna said...

I am so making these. I love the ease of your recipes.

I was wondering why you added the baking soda and powder to the wet when it is usually added to the dry/flour - did you do that for convenience or for some other reason?

Chef John said...

Madonna, I think they mix in better as you cream the butter. Prob doesn't really matter.

Straw, yes! You can do by hand no problem.

Vinny from NY said...

Freakishly small spatula to go with the freakishly small spoon! Do you have oompa loompas in your kitchen?

I'm a Benjamin Franklin man all the way! Peanut butter over chocolate chip any day!

Mary F said...

chef john. i'm alergic to nuts, are there any other nuts i can use?

Anonymous said...

Chef can i use crunchy/ chunky peanut butter instead of smooth? and ya the peanut butter is salty. I am from India so peanut butter is something we hardly ever eat. But I really wanna try these cookies.

Chef John said...

I would think any nut butter would work.

1Bigg_ER said...

WELL...why not a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie? Chocolate goes well with nut butter.

Lori-Vancouver BC Airbnb Superhost said...

I WILL be trying this recipe as I LOVE pb cookies!

What would happen if you didn't chill it before baking?

I have an OLD recipe that calls for 1 Tbsp of water...is that what makes them chewy or is that just bassed on the cooking time?

Love your blog & humour:)

Steve Smith said...

Are there any tweaks for high elevation? I'm at 5500ft up, in Denver, CO. Baking instructions usually say to add flour or shorten baking time or something for high elevation. Thanks!

Chef John said...

sorry no high-altitude experience!

Raquel said...

they look so good, I never had peanut butter cookies, maybe because peanut butter is more an American thing, I make danish butter cookies (to is appropriated since I live in Denmark), I cannot wait to test some of your recipes, I just found out the page, :D, what do you recommend to start with? ;P

see you around :D

Anonymous said...

I love this recipe. I live in Mexico now and have been having the most difficult time trying to get a good peanut butter cookie. This recipe worked perfect, especially with the gas oven and the high altitude. Also to 1 bigger, all you do is put chocolate chips in and they are fabulous. They're my favorite cookies. Thanks Chef John. I love the videos, keep em coming. :)

Razors Edge said...

the global economic system is on the verge of collapse and all you have to think about is making peanut butter cookies! Amazing.

Vote Ron Paul?!!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Chef, your rationality always makes me laugh, thank you.

Maureen said...

I would choose peanut butter cookies over chocolate chip any day. Your cookies look really good. need some now.

birdwhisper said...

Thank you, Chef John! I've been wanting to make your chocolate lava cakes, but my mom doesn't like chocolate that much so I've been trying to think of something I could make for her instead. And you just reminded me that she loves peanut butter cookies!

As it so happens, I've got some banana bread cooling right now. It's your first recipe I've tried, so I hope it's good! ;-)

brian said...

yummy i love peanut butter cookies!

Me.Eat.Food said...

What? You used a mixer?!?! I just mixed up some cookies last week with a spatula, thanks to your inspiration! LOL

I miss those old Reese's commercials!

Angee.Hearts.Food.Wishes said...

I love moments of epiphany! My PB cookies are always such a pain in the Benjamin to make. I never considered getting the dough cold, "doh!" Thanks for what I'm sure will be another great recipe.

Just out of curiousity: is that a Kitchenaid or Cuisinart mixer? I went with the Cuisinart and am completely in love.

Chef John said...

K.A.! :)

juice said...

I enjoy your cookie recipes and have tried several. However, I usually use only half the amount of sugar. It would seem that you Americans like much sweeter cookies than us Europeans.
Greetings from Croatia!

Erica said...

Thanks Chef John! I love your blog and the cookies were awesome! Pb is my fav!

Anonymous said...

im currently making these now and do i have to chill them for 2-3 hours? or can i just bake them?

Chef John said...

Are you asking if I told people to chill the dough for hours in the video even though it doesn't have any effect, and they really don't need to do it, and could bake them right away? Because that seems to be what you're asking. ;)

(Yes, it's better chilled)

Diane said...

Chef John, Why no vanilla extract in this peanut butter cookie recipe? Not that they don't taste wonderful, they do and I am trying not to eat them all. Just curious

Jim said...

Another vote for adding chocolate chips - the best of both worlds!!! Although not seasonably traditional, made some last Christmas, the favorite of everyone. The chips make "the ol' stammpa, stammpa" a little difficult though ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John! Seems like a recipe that's even easy enough for a newbie like me to begin my culinary adventures. Question though, is it okay to substitute margarine for the butter? Thanks! :D

Anonymous said...

Wow Chef John I really liked these. You should do more cookie recipes. Might I suggest a variation on this one on Allrecipes? I found them exquisite. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/big-soft-ginger-cookies/

Chef John said...

margarine? You could, but why? most margarines are terrible for you!

Anonymous said...

I actually replaced it with butter.

Anonymous said...

Love your easy videos Thank You. I live in an area where there is no stores within 25 miles and I only have salted butter. Can I use it, If so do I delete the salt in the recipe? Thanks

Chef John said...

Yes!

Steven said...

If you were to add a secret ingredient to this, Chef, what would it be?

Kim said...

I just made these. I don't even like peanut butter but I LOVE your cookies! I'm going to stash the second batch of the batter in my freezer, because I know if I bake them all today, I will eat them ALL today :)

I love your blogs and video's. I can't decide what's more fun: cooking and eating your recipes or watching you explain it in the videos! I bought a set of scoops to measure cups (I was going to write cup-size measurement tools but it sounds just so wrong), only to be able to make your deserts. We use kitchen scales where I live ;)

Raven said...

Wow, they are all like, perfect! Can't wait to make these as I am in the market for a new peanut butter cookie recipe: http://www.cookeatdelicious.com/sweets-recipes/cookies-recipes/classic-peanut-butter-cookies-recipe.html

Thanks!

Kathy Dempsey said...

I've tried MANY peanut butter cookie recipes looking for that 'taste' from when I was growing up ('50s-'60s) and this is the first one without vanilla. Although I haven't tried the recipe yet, I'm wondering about vanilla.

Hutli said...

Hi chef John.. Could you replace unsalted butter with salted and then leave out the salt? Or is there too much salt in salted butter?

Chef John said...

sure!

Unknown said...

Hello Chef John,

Thank you so much for these awesome recipes and the funny/amazing video tutorials! I wanted to ask whether it would much too much of a difference if I used crunchy peanut butter instead?

jeanette said...

I wanted easy (lazy) and tasty (like eating half the cookie sheet worth).
These were fantastic just as the recipe is. I just put raw /turbano sugar on top with stampa stamp. Better the next day.

bluesparrow91 said...

i didn't see you use an egg and it really confused me since you did put it in the ing list.

Colin Tan said...

Hi Chef John,

I simply adore your cooking style and not to mention the amazing recipes!! Just a quick question, can I use this cookie dough as a base for cheesecakes? Chilled and baked ??

Chef John said...

never tried, but don't see why not! Enjoy!

Rebecca G said...

I just made the dough and put the dough to chill, 3 hours seems like an eternity. The raw dough by itself was amazing. I am not a fan of peanut butter but those look delicious. I am making those cookies as a thank you present to a bunch of nurses. :-)

Michelle Grant Preston said...

Thx Chef. These were very good and they were very easy. I just baked some for my dog groomer. Although I did add a capful of vanilla and a handful of craisins. Also no time for refrigeration and they were a hit. :) I'm definately adding this recipe to my collection.

will dukeshire said...

thnx chef John! another great recipe.I made these last night O M G I finally stopped eating at the fifth one!LOL truly the best PButter cookie I've ever tasted!

Nikolas Amadeus said...

See this is crap because when I come to a recipe like this one, I want to cook it right now because I'm really hungry and it's past midnight! So I watch this video and I'm getting really excited when he's all like "Yeah man it's totally basic. You can do it dude!" and then he's like "now get your electric mixer and all these ingredients you don't currently have! Woo! See so easy!"

lulu said...

Hi Chef John,

Thank you for the vid. I followed your directions but when trying to press the dough balls down with a fork, they completely cracked and crumbled d:( In the end I had to use my fingers to carefully flatten them a little.

But I wanna stampa stampa! Do you think you could help me figure out what went wrong please?

p.s. my kids (and I) get a kick out of watching your vids. you're hands down one of the most hilarious and inspirational chefs online and offline ever!

Chef John said...

Sounds like a dry dough, which means too much flour maybe. Didn't you just scoop it out?

lulu said...

I realise it may have had something to do with my reducing the sugar by about a quarter each *oops* But I tried again (making sure to measure the flour properly) and now it's too sticky so the dough just gets trapped between the tines of the fork d:(

Guess it's just my unavoidable fate with Murphy's Law. But thank you anyway Chef.

Chef John said...

Is your dough thoroughly chilled?

lulu said...

Yes it was. I chucked it in the fridge for 3 hrs. It did warm up very quickly (hot Singapore weather) so I tried to get everything done as quickly as I could, chucking the bowl back in again between batches.

Unknown said...

Greetings from Curaçao! Let me tell you that I'm famous for the sunshine cheesecake here in the island, people just love it so much they always ask me to make it for all the activities and parties :)

My question is: can I substitute the baking soda for baking powder?

Thanks you're the best!

Chef John said...

no, i think it has to be BP

you can call me aunt choody said...

Chef John, you are always there for me when I need a great recipe. You are wonderful.

Anthony Burkett said...

Chef John... You, Sir... your peanut butter cookies and your "Sunshine Cheese Cake"...oh I may as well confess... All of your performances are the best!!

Now please go back to your vacation so you can think of more fabulous delights to entice us with! On that note... apple dumplings?... or how about crawfish etouffee? ;)