When I go to bake a batch of cookies, I often find myself adding in other sweet things. Instead of a basic chocolate chip cookie I make oatmeal, coconut, pecan, chocolate chip cookies. Instead of simple shortbread I make these tasty treats. But this time I decided to keep it truly simple. Peanut butter cookies. Just peanut butter. Well, peanut butter cookies with a touch of honey. I couldn’t help myself.
This recipe for Classic Peanut Butter Cookies is from the King Arthur Flour blog, Bakers Banter. The cookie dough comes out dry and crumbly. The recipe suggests adding the slightest bit of water at the end to make it more cohesive. I added about a tablespoon of honey instead, which probably makes these cookies a little chewier than they would be otherwise. The texture in the final product was really nice. Crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy inside.
In hindsight, I am really glad I didn’t add chocolate chips or crushed pretzels to the dough. It just isn’t up to the challenge of holding on to much more than itself. I did try to stuff a few of these with a sweetened cream cheese (it worked wonders in these cookies) but it wasn’t very successful. The crumbly dough didn’t hold together, and of the ones I did manage to form and bake, I wasn’t sure it was even worth the extra effort (or the extra calories). So, stick to the basics here. There’s a time and place for excess, and it is not here.
Butter is typically my fat of choice in cookies, but I did follow the recipe here and used shortening. A note on the site says that you can substitute 1/2 cup of softened butter for the shortening, and that will produce a softer cookie. The recipe does not call for rolling the cookies in sugar before baking, but I did it because I like the exterior to have that nice sugary coating that leaves a touch of crunchy, sweet sugar on your fingers.
Honey Kissed Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup supermarket-style smooth peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- extra granulated sugar for rolling (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
- Beat together the shortening, sugars, egg, vanilla, and peanut butter until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the peanut-butter mixture, beating gently until everything is well combined. It may take awhile for this rather dry dough to come together; and when it does, it’ll be quite stiff. Drizzle in the honey and mix to combine.
- Drop the cookie dough by tablepoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here), leaving 2″ between them.
- If desired, roll into balls and then in granulated sugar and return to the baking sheet.
- Use a fork to flatten each cookie to about 1/2″ thick, making a cross-hatch design.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, until they’re barely beginning to brown around the edges; the tops won’t have browned. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.