Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies

These really are the Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies! {Brittany's Pantry}Mmmm.  Peanut butter cookies.  Just saying the name makes me happy.  I really love peanut butter so the cookie version is just another way of feeding my addiction.  Although ultimately I am a purest and crunchy peanut butter on thick slices of homemade wheat bread with honey is nothing sort of stellar.

Speaking of peanut butter, when I lived in San Diego there was an open market that I would go to down by the beach.  I don’t know if you could call it a farmer’s market exactly, as the vendors sold a lot of prepared foods, fresh caught fish, watermelon lemonade, jewelry and the like, but there were several stands that had plenty of fresh fruit.  Local fruit and fresh caught fish and seafood is definitely one of the things I miss most about living on the ocean.  So anyway, there was this man that would sell homemade peanut, cashew, and almond butters.  I think he actually owned a health food kind of cafe and this was just something he did to promote is own products, but whatever brought him there, I was grateful!  He didn’t just have plain nut butters.  Instead he had every conceivable combination you could think of!  Honey peanut butter, honey cinnamon peanut butter, super extra crunchy peanut butter (you almost had to eat that one with a fork), dark chocolate chunk cashew butter, white chocolate chunky almond butter, carmel chocolate peanut swirl butter…way more than I could ever list.  He had big open jars of everything and you could taste as many as you wanted over and over.  It was peanut butter heaven!  Not only was it the perfect late night snack, right out of the jar with a spoon, but it brought me back to my childhood peanut butter days.  Fresh nut butters have a different texture  and flavor than those commercially made and not everyone likes the difference.  But as a kid, my Mom would get fresh peanut butter at the local co-op in huge half-gallon tubs.   Don’t forget, I have five siblings so we went through a ton of peanut butter.  The natural oils in it would rise to the top and we would have to stir it every time we got a spoonful.  College and the introduction to JIF by my roommates temporarily changed my tastes, but that market brought it all back.  Although my local grocery store here doesn’t carry it, most major chains have started to offer natural peanut butters, usually found in the refrigerated section due to the lack of preservatives used.  If you have never tried it, give natural peanut butter a go.  You just may be converted.

But back to cookies, this recipe is my new basic peanut butter cookie recipe.  I got rid of all my others after having made this a few times.  I added Reeses Pieces to give them a Halloween kind of look, but normally, I would leave them out.  There is no need to make the criss cross fork marks in these, but if you want to stick to tradition and need them on your peanut butter cookies, by all means go for it.These really are the Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies! {Brittany's Pantry} One Year Ago:  Sweet Potato Biscuits

Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

1 c (2 sticks) softened butter
1 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c peanut butter, crunchy or creamy, but not natural
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped peanuts
1 c Reeses Pieces, optional

Cream butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter and mix until all combined.  Add dry ingredients slowly and mix.  Fold in peanuts and candy.  Drop by rounded Tablespoonful onto a greased or parchment lined sheet pan.  Cross hatch with a fork if desired. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes on the pan to set up then remove to a wire rack.  Freezes well.