Cookies are timeless.
Like Labor Day barbeques, lemonade, and illegal backyard fireworks. Like fireflies in Mason jars.
Like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Or better yet, peanut butter eaten off the back of a spoon, while standing alone in a dark kitchen at 1 am. You know you’ve been there; we all have.
Peanut butter is timeless because it satisfies that troika of tastes: sweet, salty, and unctuously rich. Whether you prefer yours with strawberry jam, marshmallow fluff, or bacon and bananas, there is something about peanut butter that transcends time and returns us all to childhood.
You remember: sunny, hot September Sundays followed by long, gentle twilights, when your biggest concern was catching more lightning bugs than stuck-up Cousin Marigold, visiting from Connecticut.
Maybe cookies aren’t actually timeless–maybe they’re time machines.
PEANUT BUTTER SANDIES RECIPE
(yield: approximately 18)
Adapted from the New York Times
1 stick butter, room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 cup peanut butter–creamy or chunky, totally your call
1 cup All-Purpose flour
Additional salt and sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
1.Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and whipped, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the peanut butter and egg; mix until well incorporated. Add the flour and salt and stir just until combined.
4. Using a #40 cookie scoop, portion dough onto prepared pans. The cookie will be rough on the top, which is what you want. Since they don’t spread, and we aren’t using the tried-and-true fork crosshatching, the dough balls can be fairly close together on the cookie sheet. Just be sure to leave enough room between them to allow the air to circulate, so that they bake evenly.
5. In a small bowl, combine a tablespoon of sanding sugar (although regular white sugar works fine, too) with a teaspoon of coarse kosher salt. Using a pinch at a time, sprinkle this mixture over the top of each cookie. Don’t skip this step. Seriously.
6.Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until cookies are set and golden-brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes then carefully move them to racks to cool completely. Serve and store at room temperature.
By now, you know what I’m about to prescribe: chocolate. As always, use your favorite (in our house, that means a 4 oz bar of special dark) chopped into small shards and mixed by hand into the dough before scooping. Of course, you could always bake them unadulterated by chocolate, then dip the craggy tops into melted chocolate once the cookies have cooled. Or drizzle them with melted chocolate. Listen, it’s peanut butter and chocolate: you can’t go wrong.
Recipe and story by Doug Florey, aka Dr. Cookie/ Styling by Anna Calabrese / Photography by Dave Bryce
Try these Doctor Cookie recipes as well.