There is nothing like biting into a warm, soft peanut butter cookie. You know, the kind that is thick, soft (pillow like), and has a sweet, nutty peanut butter taste. The outside layer is sugary and has a slight crisp. The inside is warm, gooey, and bursting with peanut buttery flavor, alongside slightly melted peanut butter chips. Sounds amazing right? If you are on the same page as me, you will absolutely love this recipe.
Sunday was my Aunt Nancy’s Birthday. She is technically not my aunt, but she’s one of my mom’s best friends that I grew up with since I was 2. So as far as I am concerned, she is my aunt. I have a tradition with her. Every year on her birthday I make her peanut butter cookies. When I started doing this years ago I would use a packet of peanut butter cookie mix… the kind where you just add oil and eggs. Even though they tasted fine, I’m pretty sure they were flat and very processed. As time went on I dabbled with different recipes. This year I have tweaked my peanut butter cookie recipe, and I feel that this one is by far my best yet.
These cookies are jam packed with peanut butter, not only from the ¾ cup of peanut butter that is added to the recipe, but from the peanut butter chips that are also added. This recipe also uses both light and dark brown sugar, and calls for both baking soda and baking powder, since there’s a lot of acidic ingredients (both brown sugars and the honey). The baking soda will cancel out the acidity, and the cookies will be able to rise into big fluffy creations. These cookies are packed with goodness.
Now here is my knowledge about brown sugar. I don’t know if you have noticed, but I very rarely use white sugar. I am a brown sugar girl through and through. I feel that brown sugar adds additional moisture to baked goods, along with added flavor. This is especially true with cookies. While white sugar spreads the cookies, brown sugar adds moisture. The main difference in both brown and white sugar is that brown sugar has molasses added to the raw sugar crystals. The molasses is what adds the moisture.
The difference between light and dark brown sugar is simply the amount of molasses that is added. Dark brown sugar has about 6.5% molasses per volume of sugar, while light brown sugar has 3.5% per volume of sugar. Dark brown sugar tends to have more of a deep flavor. Most baking recipes that call for brown sugar are referring to light brown sugar. They can be used interchangeably with one small note. Dark brown sugar will produce a darker product, and is more acidic. You can use either one with my recipe, if you only have one type on hand. I just love the taste of both brown sugars in this recipe, as the hints of dark and light really play off the peanut butter.
My additional advice for these cookies are to make sure you freeze the batter for an hour before baking them. This heightens the flavor, and increases the rising ability of the cookies. I know that’s an extra hour before you get to try them, but trust me, it’s well worth it.