Every once and a while I get the urge to bake something and this recipe for peanut butter cookies is one of the easiest and best-tasting ones that I've found. It comes from Anna Olson and food network.ca.
I like to leave the mixer off to the side and do it all by hand. Just make sure the butter is room temperature or you're going to have a heck of a time creaming it with the sugar.
So here it is:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350° F (or 325° F because my oven cooks hot). Cream together butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in peanut butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and blend in. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and crisscross mark them with a floured fork. (I like to press them down with my fingers so they're a little wider than the recipe calls for because then you get really soft, flat peanut butter cookies that don't break your teeth.) Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until cookies just start to colour around the edges.
It's really important to take the cookies out as soon as you start to see the faintest colour along the edges because they will keep browning on the bottom as they cool on the cookie sheet.
If you want to look really gourmet, mix some spanish peanuts with the red skins still on into the cookie mixture at the last second. Then when you bite in it you get these great little bursts of peanut and they look really great.
Perfect little gift if you're on a tight budget like me. (It's the kind of gift your aunt and uncle will hide from the grandkids. I know, mine did!)