I have a pretty lousy memory when it comes to recipes—a major reason why this blog even exists—but this one is so simple, it’s one of the few I have memorized. It’s a great one to whip out in a pinch when a cookie craving hits, because it consists entirely of pantry staples and can be beaten together without an electric mixer. I make this with unsweetened chunky peanut butter because that’s what I keep on hand, but use whichever type you like. No matter if you’re a “choosy Mom” or not, it’s important to let the cookies stand for several minutes before removing from the baking sheet. The lack of flour in this recipe leaves the cookies a bit fragile. They will firm up as they cool so they can be picked up without crumbling, but they will remain too brittle to transport without taking extra precautions.
1 cup (256 grams) peanut butter
2/3 cup (128 grams) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
medium (3-quart) mixing bowl
measuring cups and spoons, including 1/8 cup if you have it
half-sheet (18-inch by 13-inch) baking sheet, lined with baking mat
1. Set oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg in bowl.
2. Add peanut butter, sugar, baking soda, and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
3. Scoop dough by 1/8 cup, roll into balls, and place onto prepared pan.
4. Use fork to flatten each ball into a disc in a crosshatch pattern, then bake until edges are golden brown—about 10 minutes.
5. Let cookies stand until firm—about 10 minutes—then transfer to rack until cooled completely.
NOTES & TIPS
• When shopping for peanut butter, “natural” does not necessarily mean unsweetened. Check the ingredient list for any mention of sugar.
• No 1/8 cup? Scoop by rounded tablespoons. Either way, each dough ball should weigh just over 1 ounce.
• These cookies spread. A lot. Stagger cookie balls on baking sheet, instead of lining them up exactly side-by-side.
• Make mini cookies by scooping by level tablespoons. Makes about 26 cookies.
• BONUS RECIPE: Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: Same method as above, just add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder during Step 2.
• BONUS RECIPE: Flourless Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies: Same method as original, just fold in 6 ounces chocolate chips into dough after Step 2, then flatten by hand or with the back of a spoon, instead of a fork. This version makes about 16 cookies. (Scooping by level tablespoons will yield about 32 cookies.)
about a baker’s dozen (13 cookies)