Easy Peanut Butter Cookies have been around for quite a while, offering individuals a simple and scrumptious treat that can be whipped up in no time. Made from just a few ingredients found in most kitchen cupboards, these cookies satisfy peanut butter cravings and melt in your mouth with a burst of sweet, creamy, and nutty goodness. In this guide, we’ll take a look at a quick and delicious recipe – sure to impress your family and friends – as well as unravel the history and interesting tidbits surrounding this much-loved treat.
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat for easy cookie removal and cleanup.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract (if using). Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well-incorporated, resulting in a smooth and sticky dough.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, forming evenly sized balls. Arrange the dough balls about an inch apart, as they will expand slightly during baking.
- Press the tines of a fork on top of each dough ball in a crisscross pattern – not only does this flatten the cookie but also gives them their iconic look.
- Bake the peanut butter cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until they’re slightly browned and set around the edges. Be sure not to overbake, as these cookies continue to set upon cooling outside the oven.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.
History and Curiosities
Peanut butter cookies have an interesting backstory that goes hand in hand with the invention of peanut butter itself. In the late 19th century, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg – better known for his contribution to popularizing breakfast cereals – patented a process for making peanut butter to provide a nutritious and easy-to-digest protein source for his patients. From this innovation, peanut butter found its way into kitchens across the country.
The first recorded peanut butter cookie recipe debuted in 1916, authored by George Washington Carver – an agricultural scientist dedicated to promoting peanuts and their byproducts. Around the 1930s, peanut butter cookies hit mainstream cookbooks, and the rest was history.
The iconic crisscross pattern usually found on peanut butter cookies traces back to a recipe published in a 1936 Pillsbury cookbook. This step served a valuable purpose – encouraging even baking and making the cookie recognizable.
It’s incredible how a simple invention transitioned into a beloved, sweet treat enjoyed worldwide – the peanut butter cookie demonstrates the power of culinary creativity. Make a batch of these easy and delectable cookies to bring some history and deliciousness into your own kitchen. Happy cooking!