Warning: making these cookies may be hazardous to your waistline.
I found this recipe in a copy of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and they are unbelievably delicious. I can’t eat just one.
The recipe calls for creamy peanut butter to get the correct texture; don’t use chunky or “natural” (whatever that is). I cut the ingredients in half in order to make just one baking sheet of cookies; just double the quantities to make two sheets, etc. I also reduced the size of the cookies from the two tablespoons in their recipe to just one, as I prefer a smaller cookie. So one sheet of cookies yields either 12 large or 24 smaller cookies, depending.
Oh, and I use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients by mass rather than volume. If you don’t have a non-stick baking sheet (or if age has withered its non-stickiness), line your sheets with parchment paper. You can substitute light brown sugar if you want to sacrifice a little of the rich flavor.
¾ cups (3 ¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
¾ cups packed (5 ¼ ounces) dark brown sugar
½ cup (4 ½ ounces) creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I use olive oil or a mix of the two)
1 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped fine
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
2. In a larger bowl, whisk sugar, peanut butter, eggs, melted butter, honey, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir until soft, homogeneous dough forms. Stir in peanuts until evenly distributed.
3. Working with one tablespoon of cookie dough at a time, roll dough into balls and evenly space on cookie sheets. Use a fork to flatten the cookie balls and create a crosshatch pattern.
4. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet after 6 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.