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peanut butter cookie question

This will probably sound silly, but every time I make peanut butter cookies and use a fork to make those nice criss cross designs, my fork gets stuck in the batter and I cannot lift it without tearing up the cookie. I thought of putting some Pam or flour on the fork, but since the cookies are flourless, I don't know how the tiny bit of flour would affect the baked cookie. The batter is a bit greasy to start, so I thought the Pam might make it even greasier. Here's the recipe: 1 cup pb (I use Skippy Naturals), 1/2 c. white sugar, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Combine the pb and sugars in a bowl, then add egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Mix well. Chill dough for 20-30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes. Cookies are chewy rather than crisp, the way I like my pb cookies. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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  1. When I made these, I dipped the fork in sugar first. Makes a nice cookie finish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sueatmo

      Yep, thats what I do. If you don't want that, maybe try some water. Dip, shake the fork and press.

      About the non crisp aspect. Sometimes they crisp after they have sat around a while. Or maybe you need to go to the kind of peanut butter that you do not have to stir. Also if you can find a recipe with butter in it, it will be thinner and crispier.

    2. i also use sugar because I don't like the looks of the flour.

      1. You need more finesse :)

        1. I use a cup of cold water. Dip fork, press both directions, dip fork, next cookie.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wadejay26

            I freeze the fork and leave the fork in water that has ice cubes in it to prevent sticking. Or, chill the dough for 20 mins. into balls that you've flattened and then do your crisscross with a cold fork.

            1. re: wadejay26

              Do you straight press, or roll? I'm a roller with the tines, from handle end to eating end.

            2. I want to try this recipe… but the dough does sound like it would be kind of fragile. One thing is that you may be pushing the fork too deep into the cookie, so it's hard to lift the tines back up without tearing off the lines/dots of dough. Try leaving a shallower impression and see if that helps. Or just bake them without the criss-cross. (Otherwise I agree with the dipping fork in water suggestion.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: DeppityDawg

                When you do shallow criss-crosses, they basically bake out.

                I usually just press the fork down, start pulling it up by levering toward the tips of the tines, and put my finger under the base of the fork to hold down the cookie.

                Sugar works, too.

              2. What is the purpose of the design? Does it improve flavor or texture or is it just a tradition?

                3 Replies
                1. re: magiesmom

                  I think it is just a traditional sign of a peanut butter cookie. A crosshatch made with fork tines. It tastes better. I think. LOL

                  Confection idiosyncrasy does not have an important function.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    You want to flatten the cookie. The crisscross is just the traditional way. I sometimes just use wet fingers or a glass.

                    1. re: chowser

                      I do mine w/ the bottom of a decorative glass dipped in sugar. Works well for me.

                  2. Thank you all for your help! I never thought of cold water or dipping the fork in sugar or rolling the dough with the tines. These are great suggestions. And yes, I could use a little more finesse, I guess. Sorry, didn't mean to rhyme. I really appreciate your input as I was getting ready to give up the criss cross altogether. I so like that design. Next batch will look much much better than my last one.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: addicted2cake

                      yeah, we all have to learn from each other! I'm one who wets the fork for criss-crossing p'butter cookies. I also wet the spatula when flipping fried eggs, 'cause no matter what spatula I use, the eggs can stick--wetting works!

                      1. re: pine time

                        I wet my spatula when I frost a cake in hot water. No sticking and it frosts smoothly. I also wet my hands when I knead sticky dough. Water is great!

                        1. re: chowser

                          Yes--had forgotten about frosting!

                        2. re: pine time

                          I use a metal spatula for eggs.

                          1. re: sandylc

                            Don't know why, but even my metal spatula gets stuck on the crispy edges of the eggs, then I break the yolk. Must be user-error!

                        3. re: addicted2cake

                          Hey A to C - another alternative to forks, glasses, hands, spatulas (good one BTW) is your meat tenderizing mallet - with the spikes. I totally forgot about using that thing for cookies, but it works terrifically. I don't think it needs to be dipped for non sticking either. Maybe. I am oldish and fuzzy on the sticking facts.

                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                            Another gem of a suggestion! I have one of these in my gadget drawer. Will definitely give it a try. Thanks!!

                          2. re: addicted2cake

                            And you won't get any refusals, no matter if they are perfect or not! Just keep making them.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              Will do,sueatmo. Thanks for the encouragement. :)