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Cooks Illustrated Peanut Butter Cookies

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Has anyone made these? I have the batter in the fridge and will bake them tonight or tomorrow morning. Looking for thick, soft PB cookies and curious if this recipe rocks or if someone know a better recipe.

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  1. I have not made them but judging by how good the Cooks Illustrated Brown Sugar Cookies are, I now want to try them!

    1. This is my peanut butter cookie recipe of choice. I used to use a recipe from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, but switched to the CI. The FFBB recipe is still a good one, don't get me wrong. I think the yield for CI recipe is better.

      BTW, I like sprinkle the cookies with a little cinnamon sugar before they go in the oven. Just a little. Gives them an interesting dimension.

      1. I've made this recipe many times and think it's amazing. How'd they turn out?

        4 Replies
        1. re: paulcooks

          Hey Paul, I think they were very good, but I still feel like something was missing. I liked the texture but wanted more peanut flavor. I didn't have salted peanuts on hand, so that may have been the problem. I added peanut butter chips and some choc. chips to the batter. I was in "like" not in "love".

          Do you add anything special when you make them?

          1. re: chocolate chick

            Another pb cookie recipe I like is in Tish Boyle's "Diner Desserts". The recipe makes large (giant) cookies, but I usually make smaller ones with the same recipe. I believe the same recipe is in her cookie book "The Good Cookie".

            1. re: chocolate chick

              I think you'd have much better luck with the salted peanuts. They really add an amazing texture and flavor. I also think that the PB chips would actually alter the peanut butter flavor of the recipe. So far as I'm concerned this recipe is just about perfect as is and is my go to recipe for PB Cookies.

              1. re: ccbweb

                With all these reassuring comments, I will have to make them again. No doubt adding salted peanuts!

          2. I made these cookies the other day and they were amazing. Soft, chewey and delicious and I'm not really a pb cookie fan. Admittedly I used homemade peanut butter for the batter but I bet they would come out great w the commercial stuff too. Recipe made 3 dozen cookies EXACTLY.

            7 Replies
            1. re: shaebones

              is anyone willing to paraphease this recipe? I am still seeking a homemade version of the egregiously overpriced ones I love at a local store.

              1. re: alex8alot

                Moist, Thick PB cookies:

                21/2 cups AP flour
                1/2 t baking soda
                1 t baking powder
                1/4 t salt
                2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
                2 cups lt. br. sugar (I always use dk)
                1 cup x-crunchy pb
                3 lg. eggs
                2 t vanilla
                1 cup roasted salted peanuts, ground to resemble bread crumbs

                Whisk 1st 4 ingred, and set aside. Beat butter until smooth and creamy, add sugar& beat until light & fluffy. Scrape down bowl. Beat in PB, then eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Genlty stir dry ingred. into PB mixture, add ground peanuts until just mixed in.

                Cover dough w/plastic wrap and chill b/w 3hrs-overnight.

                Adjust rack to low-center position in oven and preheat to 350. Line cookie sheets w/parchment. Woriking w/ 2T at a time roll into balls and place on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Barely press each ball twice w/ back of fork to make gentle criss-cross design.

                Bake 12-13min, until puffed an slightly browned at edges. Cool until set and transfer.

                There you go, happy baking!!!

                1. re: chocolate chick

                  Hi, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with making this dough and then leaving in the refrigerator for a few days? I made up a batch of dough this afternoon, and then it occured to me that these cookies would be great for an event I'm attending on Saturday -- can I just leave the dough in my fridge until Friday night? Should I freeze it? I'd rather not bake them now and risk them going stale by then. Thanks so much for any input! (The recipe looks amazing, can't wait to try one.)

                  1. re: blognut

                    In my experience the dough will hold just fine tightly wrapped in the fridge. I wouldn't freeze the dough for just the two or three days.

                    1. re: blognut

                      I LOVE this recipe. I made these cookies Sunday afternoon. Fedex'd them to my mother in law Monday afternoon. They arrived Tuesday late afternoon and she called me after quicly chowing on a few and said they were chewey and delicious. They keep well for about a week in an airtight container.

                      1. re: shaebones

                        Thanks everyone -- I've got the dough covered in my fridge and will bake them on Friday night.

                        Also, this may sound hideous, but has anyone tried sprinkling a tiny bit of Kosher salt on top? I had a lovely batch of salted peanut butter cookies at a local NYC bakery and thought they were fantastic, but I've been too timid to try it on my own.

                        1. re: blognut

                          It doesn't sound at all hideous, but I'd give the recipe a shot as is first, they're actually fairly salty (which is one of the best features). So you might find the saltiness level to be to your liking already.

              2. oh, I hope you'll give this recipe one more try. Leaving out the cup of peanuts probably made a big difference.

                love raj1's idea to sprinkle on a touch of cinnamon sugar!

                I'm trying to get off the sweets kick I'm on but it may have to wait another day...

                1. If you want really chewy and peanut buttery, these are really different from your normal peanut butter cookies.

                  1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
                  1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
                  1 large egg
                  1 teaspoon baking soda
                  1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

                  Preheat 350. Mix first 4 ingredients. Stir in chips. Drop on ungreased sheets and cook about 10 minutes. They'll still seem pretty raw, but will have a touch of browning. Let them cool on the pan to finish baking. They are really chewy - don't look for them to harden, just set.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: katecm

                    this is also a recipe I use when doing my Christmas baking. I start the first of November, and bake the entire month, morning until night. By the first week of December when I deliver my baskets to Family, you cant get through my living room, and it is 40 feet long, by 12.5 feet wide.....A few years ago I took a chocolate course. Now I also make chocolate cristmas ornaments, and gold leaf them... They are wonderful also. One year I filled my sons with M&Ms that I had printed for him, We Are N.D. and Go Irish...bet you can't tell where he is going to College. LOL

                  2. I love how this recipe has amazing peanut butter flavour, but what is the texture sup[posed to be like? Everytime I make them, they are slightly crisp on the outisde, but then turn soft with time. Are they supposed to be soft? I would prefer if it had more crisp.. should I leave them in the oven longer or will that just turn tough?

                    Also, my cookies usually puff instead of spread and the ingredients are always warm too. I actually prefer more of a spread

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cakesncookies

                      General cookie-baking rules:

                      Cookies made with butter spread less than those with margarine or shortening.

                      Using melted (then cooled to room temp) butter rather than creaming the butter with the sugar will yield thinner, crisper cookies.

                      Reducing oven temp slightly will encourage cookies to spread.

                      Baking soda cookies puff less than baking powder.

                      Corn syrup(1 Tbsp replacing 1 Tbsp sugar) adds crispness and color.

                      Brown sugar or honey will make cookies that soften on standing.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        I just finished making them and I found that they were more crisp this time after leaving it in oven for 12 minutes instead of 10. Unfortunately, I forgot that I was using salted buttter so the cookies are a bit salty.. I call them savoury actually.. Hopefully the crispness will hold up later in the day.. if they last that long