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The Ultimate Guide to Baking the Best Peanut Butter Cookies: Celebrate National Peanut Butter Cookie Day


There's something incredibly satisfying about a perfectly baked peanut butter cookie. The combination of sweet and salty flavors, along with a soft, chewy texture, makes these cookies a beloved treat for many. Whether you're a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, this guide will help you bake the best peanut butter cookies ever. And what better time to indulge in this classic treat than on National Peanut Butter Cookie Day?


Celebrate National Peanut Butter Cookie Day

National Peanut Butter Cookie Day, celebrated on June 12th each year, is the perfect excuse to whip up a batch of these delightful cookies. This day is dedicated to enjoying and sharing the joy of peanut butter cookies with friends and family. Whether you're hosting a cookie swap, baking with your kids, or simply treating yourself, this guide will ensure your cookies are the star of the day.


Ingredients Matter


Choosing the Right Peanut Butter

The star ingredient in peanut butter cookies is, of course, peanut butter. Choosing the right type of peanut butter is crucial. Natural peanut butter, which is made with just peanuts and salt, can give your cookies a more authentic peanut flavor. However, it tends to be oilier and less sweet than commercial brands, so you might need to adjust the recipe slightly. For the classic taste and texture, a creamy, no-stir peanut butter like Jif or Skippy works perfectly.


Quality Ingredients for the Best Results

  • Butter: Use unsalted butter to control the salt content. Make sure it’s at room temperature for easy mixing.

  • Sugar: A combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar gives the cookies a balanced sweetness and a chewy texture.

  • Eggs: Use large, fresh eggs. They provide structure and moisture.

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is standard. For a gluten-free version, a 1:1 gluten-free flour substitute works well.

  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder: These leavening agents ensure your cookies rise properly and have the right texture.

  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a depth of flavor that enhances the overall taste of the cookies.

  • Salt: Just a pinch to balance the sweetness and enhance the peanut butter flavor.


The Perfect Recipe

Here's a tried-and-true recipe that guarantees delicious, chewy peanut butter cookies every time.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240g) creamy peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup (110g) packed brown sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat Your Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  2. Cream the Butter and Sugars: In a large bowl, beat the softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add the Peanut Butter and Egg: Mix in the peanut butter and then beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.

  4. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this dry mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed until combined.

  5. Shape the Cookies: Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly with a fork, creating a crisscross pattern.

  6. Bake: Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. The centers may look slightly underbaked, but they'll firm up as they cool.

  7. Cool: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.



Tips for Success

  1. Measure Ingredients Accurately: Baking is a science, so accurate measurements are crucial. Use a kitchen scale for the best results.

  2. Don't Overmix: Overmixing the dough can result in tough cookies. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.

  3. Chill the Dough: If your dough seems too soft, chilling it for 30 minutes can help prevent the cookies from spreading too much during baking.

  4. Watch the Bake Time: Peanut butter cookies can go from perfectly baked to overdone quickly. Keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when the edges are just starting to brown.

  5. Customize: Add chocolate chips, chopped peanuts, or a sprinkle of sea salt on top for a delicious twist.


Storing and Freezing

Storing

Store your peanut butter cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If you like softer cookies, you can place a slice of bread in the container to keep them moist.


Freezing

Peanut butter cookies freeze well. After baking, let the cookies cool completely, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to a zip-top bag or airtight container. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying.



Fun Ways to Celebrate

  1. Cookie Swap Party: Host a cookie swap party with friends and family. Everyone brings a batch of their favorite cookies to share.

  2. Baking with Kids: Get the kids involved in baking. They’ll love making the crisscross patterns on the cookies.

  3. Gift Baskets: Make gift baskets with a variety of homemade cookies to share with neighbors, teachers, or coworkers.

  4. Social Media Celebration: Share your peanut butter cookie creations on social media with the hashtag #NationalPeanutButterCookieDay. Don’t forget to tag your friends and encourage them to join the fun!


Conclusion

With the right ingredients and a little attention to detail, you can bake the best peanut butter cookies that will have everyone asking for the recipe. Whether you're making them for a special occasion or just to satisfy a sweet craving, these cookies are sure to be a hit. Celebrate National Peanut Butter Cookie Day by baking a batch and sharing the joy with those around you. Happy baking!


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