I needed to eat something with peanut butter in it, but it needed to be fancier than peanut butter on toast. I decided on a peanut butter cookie.
Unfortunately, the only flour I had on hand was cake flour, which my fellow editor and friend, Sara B., told me would make for fluffier cookies. This was not the cookie I was seeking, so I took to the Googles. Four recipe sites later, I ended up on the Food Network site, and this recipe for flourless cookies that looked really easy. I read through the comments and took some of the backseat driver advice offered there to change it up slightly. This is what I ended up with:
1 cup peanut butter. The original recipe recommends natural peanut butter, but I had Jif and it worked out fine.
¾ cup sugar. I mixed ½ cup white sugar with ¼ cup light brown sugar. The original recipe calls for a full cup, but my cookies were plenty sweet.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lightly beaten egg
pinch of sea salt
pinch of white sugar
1 teaspoon butter, softened. The butter is to make up for the oil in natural peanut butter. There are many healthier choices you could make, including peanut or vegetable oil. Or just use natural peanut butter to begin with.
Set egg out on counter until it’s room temperature. Beat lightly with a whisk or a fork in a medium-sized bowl.
Whisk in vanilla and half the white sugar.
Whisk in the rest of the sugar slowly, until well mixed.
Add butter, whisk until blended through.
Add peanut butter, whisk until your arm hurts, or use an electric mixer.
Drop batter by rounded tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (This is important, these are delicate cookies, they’ll break if they stick to your cookie sheet.)
Lightly handle them into a ball-esque shape, but don’t be perfect.
Use a fork to make a cross hatch pattern on the top of each cookie, smushing it down.
Sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt and white sugar.
Bake on center rack for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown around the edges.
When you pull the sheet out of the oven, place it on a cooling rack and let the cookies cool for at least ten minutes.
Enjoy with milk, or wine, or whatever beverage feels right for you.