I had a revelation a few years back. Has this ever happened to you?
When we were growing up, the ONLY kind of peanut butter my mom would buy was Skippy Super Chunk. There was always a jar of it in the cupboard, and we had it on our toast and in our cold lunch almost every day. I didn’t even realize that smooth peanut butter existed until the mid-70’s or so, when I had lunch over at a friend’s house! I came home from the playdate effusing with happiness over the exciting news: you could actually buy peanut butter where all the peanuts were perfectly smashed, and it was wonderfully delicious! We didn’t have to have those annoying crunchy chunks in our Peanut Butter & Wonder Bread sandwiches anymore, and wasn’t that super news?
My dad caught wind of my peanut butter recommendation and immediately had something to say about it. “Aww, YUCK, Leah!” he said. “Creamy peanut butter is boring and way too sweet! Chunky is the only way to go!”
Hmmff. And so it was and continued to be at our house.
But I remember the very first time I bought a jar of peanut butter when I was out on my own. In fact, I distinctly recall the glorious day I went to the Harris Teeter in Rock Hill, South Carolina (where I went to school) and was able to choose which kind of peanut butter I wanted – and hey Dad, guess what!?! Choosy college co-eds choose SMOOTH PEANUT BUTTER!
That was the revelation. I hope you weren’t expecting anything deeper out of me.
These days, the only time I make an exception to my ‘smooth peanut butter only’ rule is when I make these amazing cookies. Chunky peanut butter was on sale last week, and this week the other key ingredient, roasted salted peanuts, are on special. If you’ve got Super Chunk fans at your house, these cookies will knock ‘em dead!
In fact, I can’t wait to have some waiting for my dad when he comes for Christmas.
BIG, SUPER-NUTTY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
Makes Approximately 3 Dozen
- 2 ½ c. flour
- ½ t. baking soda
- ½ t. baking powder
- ½ t. salt
- 2 sticks butter, salted
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 1 c. extra-crunchy peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 c. roasted, salted peanuts, ground in the food processor to resemble coarse crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Place flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or by hand), beat butter until creamy. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes with an electric mixer, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary. Beat in peanut butter until fully incorporated, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Gently stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture. Add ground peanuts, stir gently until just incorporated.
Working with two tablespoons of dough at a time, roll into large balls, placing them two inches apart on the cookie sheets. Press each dough ball with the back of a dinner fork to create crosshatch marks. Bake until cookies are puffed and slightly brown along edges, but not on top, 12 minutes (they will not look fully baked). Cool cookies on cookie sheet until set, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
*NOTE: sometimes I divide the dough in half and freeze it – this works great and is much better than having stale cookies hanging around!
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