A newish restaurant in our neighborhood offers a dessert that consists of a hefty helping of chocolate sabayon, topped with flaky salt, and a couple homemade nutter-butter cookies. It has single-handedly turned us into regulars. Okay, fine, the duck fat fries help too. But, in the end, it’s the nutter-butters that have me a little concerned Kevin might actually try to move into the restaurant. To avoid this fate, I set out to make my own peanut butter cookies. I was looking for an old-fashioned kind of recipe: a cookie with some chew, studded with finely chopped peanuts and cross-hatched.
In a happy turn of events, the recipe delivered on the old-fashioned front, but it was wholesome too. Coming from 101 Cookbooks, I expected no less. The recipe calls for a simple collection of natural ingredients: peanut butter, whole wheat pastry flour, sea salt, maple syrup, vanilla extract and olive oil (yes, you read that right—olive oil; more on the olive oil, later). These ingredients come to together in a matter of minutes (without a mixer, even!) and then the fun begins.
Scoop out little ping-pong-ball-sized bits of dough, roll them into balls and then press the tines of a fork down into the cookie—once to flatten the dough and a second time to create a criss-cross pattern. Sprinkle with raw sugar or flaky salt and bake. Easy as that.
And they are so good. Wholesome good. Salty good. Old-timey crosshatch good. They’re-so-small-I-can-totally-eat-six-at-once good. Best of all, I think they’ll ensure I won’t go roommate-less as long as I keep a supply on hand.
Heidi Swanson’s Peanut Butter Cookies recipe is here at 101 Cookbooks. [Recipe Note: I made an accidental alteration to the recipe the first time around---I forgot the olive oil. Yes, I forgot one of the seven ingredients, which raises all sorts of red flags about whether you should be taking baking advice from me, but the upshot is this: they still worked. In fact, the dough was a little more firm, making it easier to cross-hatch the cookies. The next time, I made sure to add the olive oil and I liked those too, though the olive oil flavor really came through. So if you're looking for a more traditional peanut butter cookie, you might try omitting or reducing the olive oil. Or, it might just happen by accident.]