Some people are bakers. They savor the exacting measurements that come along with creating perfect, moist, delectable breads and sweets. Other people are cooks, who find joy in the chopping, sauteing and forgiving nature of creating savory dishes. I know very few people who really love to both cook and bake. For me, I definitely fall into the cooking realm of things. I love the instinct of cooking, being able to add a bit of this and that and come out with excellent dishes.
Last weekend though, I really wanted some cookies. It was the night before a friend was coming to visit and go foraging with me. Out of chocolate (seriously, I have no idea how that happened!), I decided on peanut butter cookies. When Shawn saw me baking, he asked if I was trying to prove that I can bake too (she’s an excellent baker).
Okay, I know I don’t bake often, hun, but that is so not me.
Honestly, I just wanted the cookies, which turned out to be wonderfully crisp and full of peanut buttery goodness. I would choose cooking over baking any day. Although I do love to bake a lot at Christmas … otherwise, baking involves way too much measuring and cleanup for me.
So, which are you? The cook or the baker?
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and granulated sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together until well-combined and almost fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to incorporate.
- In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Turn the mixer on low and add the flour mixture slowly (as in one spoon at a time) to the peanut butter mixture, until all the mixtures are fully incorporated.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or two tablespoons, drop balls of dough onto a nonstick baking sheet. Use a fork to press down the dough, and create the traditional crosshatch marks. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for one minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.