I remember as a child, my brother and I used to hog on peanut butter. My aunt used to get us a jar each during her India trips and we used to relish both the creamy and crunchy versions. My love for peanut butter continues and now it's my son who shares it with me. Since he loves cookies I decided to make some peanut butter cookies for him.
My son was very excited about the cookies. When I asked him, 'shall we make some peanut butter cookies?', he, with a big grin on his face said, 'yes, maaamy' (he learnt the mummy part from Caillou, he otherwise calls me 'Amma'.) Infact, those who watch Caillou (or can't help watching it thanks to their two to four year olds at home) will definitely know that Caillou knows a great deal about food, helps his 'maamy' in the kitchen sometimes and even dreams of making his own pizzas. My son has learnt a few terms thanks to him - one day he actually asked me for some mushrooms!
I let my son do the creaming of the butter and sugars(with a firm hand on the mixer, ofcourse) and he was fascinated by it. He even let out a 'wow' here and there. It was such a fulfilling experience for me!
Coming to the recipe, I saw some basic recipes on the internet, mixed the usual ingredients and came up with the following :
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
1/2 cup all purpose flour (maida)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used Skippy, creamy)
Note - You can substitute peanut butter with almond butter.
Combine the flours, baking soda and salt and keep aside.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamy. To this add egg and vanilla and beat. Scoop in the peanut butter and beat till it mixes well.
Add flour mixture little by little and beat till well incorporated. [You can even mix with a large spoon or knead with your hands].The dough will be sticky. Refrigerate for one to two hours.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Line a cookie sheet (baking tray) with parchment paper. Scoop out one tablespoon of the dough at a time. Shape into balls, press lightly with your fingers and place on the cookie sheet two inches apart. Using a tablespoon measure each time gives you cookies of the same size.
With a fork make the signature crisscross design on the cookies. [Dip the fork lightly in water to prevent it from sticking. Press the fork hard on the cookie batter, otherwise the lines will disappear].
Bake for 13 to 14 minutes or till the edges look brownish. The centre will be soft and will harden once the cookies cool. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. [For the next batch if the dough appears sticky, refrigerate again till firm].
Makes 32 to 35 cookies. But then again, I can't be sure since some dough found it's way into my tummy!