Recipe // Pepper Peanut Butter Cookies

Texture matters a lot to me in baked goods. I love dense, sticky oatmeal cookies (sans raisins, obviously), flaky scones, creamy frosting. These peanut butter cookies, adopted from America’s Test Kitchen, are just perfect. Chewy and soft in the middle, a little crisp on the outside, and full of peanut-y goodness. The pepper adds an interesting, spicy kick to the smooth richness of the cookie.

Side note: I was looking up synonyms for “chewy” because that was the only thing that came to mind for describing these cookies. The top choices were “leathery” and “stringy.” I can assure you these cookies are the good kind of chewy.

Pepper Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp pepper
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (crunchy is okay too!)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚F. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and pepper in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a mixer, beat together softened butter and both sugars until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Mix in peanut butter until incorporated, about 30 seconds on medium. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, scraping after each addition. Reduce mixer to low and slowly add dry ingredients, just until incorporated.
  3. Take 3 tablespoons of the dough and roll into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a fork dipped in cold water, make a cross in the dough. Repeat with the rest of the dough, keeping 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway between cooking time, and just until the edges are golden brown and the centers are puffy. Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!
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