While I love peanut butter anything, peanut butter cookies perplex me. They are often hard and dry or crumbly. I have been looking for a peanut butter cookie that seems just like a normal chocolate chip cookie but has the peanut butter flavor. I came across an amazing peanut butter cookie a few years ago. It was made with oats and was dense and chewy and soft.
A few days ago I brought some Levain-like cookies into work for a potluck and everyone went crazy over them. Literally, people were begging me to quit and open up a bakery. Unfortunately because I needed them for a potluck, I wasn’t able to share them with anyone outside work. I decided last night that I should make some more Levain-like cookies and bring them into the salon today and also share them with the owners of this new coffee shop down the street. So I crossed my peanut butter cookie recipe with my Levain recipe, and a star was born.
When I took these beauties to the salon this afternoon to share with my stylist and her coworkers, I immediately spotted a plateful of classic Christmas cookies on the coffee table when I walked in the front door. My immediate thought was that my holiday contribution to the gals at the salon missed the mark. First of all, my cookies weren’t even of the Christmas variety. But second of all, sometimes there’s such thing as having too many cookies or being all cookie’d out.
I nervously offered the box of cookies to my long-time stylist and her assistant. My stylist is well aware of my baking prowess and despite all the cookies already floating around the salon, her face lit up when she saw the box. She immediately rain her nails around the edge of the box to break the seal, open the lid, glanced inside and said, “These look amazing.” In between her snipping, painting, drying, brushing and curling, she stole a tiny bite of the cookie and commented on how good it was. Later she was gushing about them describing them like this: “It’s like cookie dough but a cookie. Does that make sense? How did you do that?!” Her coworkers were just as fond of the cookies so they ended up being a win.
A lot of times when I’m making cookies I’ll eye-ball the flour a bit. I may add the requisite amount of flour per the recipe but I go more by feel. I want the dough to be a little stiff and hold its own when it begins to bake. I don’t want it melting and spreading. Sometimes you get a dough that’s really silky feeling. That dough is going to spread. My recipe below is an approximation. If you follow the recipe and the dough doesn’t feel a bit stiff, add ¼ of a cup more flour at a time until you get the right consistency. Don’t add too much or the cookies won’t spread hardly at all. You still want the cookie to spread — just not too much.
These cookies taste exactly as Christina described them. Like cookie dough but as a cookie. The trick is to undercook them slightly. They solidify when they cool. If you don’t like cookie dough-like cookies just cook them a bit longer. Because there’s so much egg in the recipe, if you cook them longer than on the low side they might turn out a bit cake-y. I’m not a fan of a cake-y cookie so I just want you, dear reader, to be aware.
- 2 c. cold butter, cubed
- 3 ½ c. brown sugar
- 2 c. peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 ½ c. flour, leveled
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 3 c. oat flour
- 3 to 4 c. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 410 degrees.
- In a large bowl, add flours, cornstarch, soda and salt and stir together to incorporate.
In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until creamy. It will not be light and creamy like standard cookie dough. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one and scraping the sides and bottom to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
Stir in dry ingredients. Mix until almost combined and then stir in chocolate chips. Stop mixing when you see no more flour (so long as the chips are sufficiently mixed in with the rest of the dough).
Make approximately 16 to 24 large balls of dough and place on light colored cookie sheets covered in parchment paper or Silpat. You should have five to 6 cookies per cookie sheet. They do not spread out all that much but you don’t want the cookies to touch during the baking process.
Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown along the edges. Let cool completely on the cookie sheets. If you can’t wait for them to cool completely before trying them (Levain serves their cookies warm!), allow to set at least 15 or 20 minutes before digging in.