Something happened with my favorite peanut-butter cookie recipe this weekend and I’m not sure what. Usually when I make this, the cookies turn out thick, soft and crumbly. However, when I stirred up a batch on Monday morning for a family Labor Day gathering, the cookies ended up flat and crunchy instead. Why? This has happened a few times in the million years I’ve been making this recipe and I never know why. Monday, I could tell I was on the way to flat and crunchy because the dough was smooth and glossy — more like a batter than a dough — as I mixed it up. When the cookies turn out thick and soft, the dough is thick and solid and definitely has to be spooned. Luckily, the cookies were a hit — some people prefer thin and crunchy — although my daughter immediately noticed that they weren’t my usual. I guess it’s good that I’ve got a go-to recipe — it’s so quick and easy I can do it in my sleep and probably have — but I’d love to know why it turns out one way sometimes and another way other times. Alton Brown, where are you when I need you???
Here’s the recipe (it’s also one of my favorites because, with no eggs involved, you can eat the dough with abandon. Not that I do that or anything.):
Peanut Butter Cookies
Melt one cup butter. Stir in one cup each white sugar and dark-brown sugar. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir together 2 1/2 cups flour and 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda and add to mixture. Stir in 1 cup peanut butter. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes in preheated 350-degree oven. Let cool in pan a minute or so before removing to cooling rack.