Peanut butter cookies and squares, once a weekly staple served in elementary school cafeterias, evoke fond memories for many. This version creates a chewy cookie with a crisp edge. For the best flavor, use a good brand of creamy peanut butter (not the natural type that separates in the jar). Flavors and texture are significantly improved if the dough is allowed to rest (refrigerated) for 3 or more hours before baking.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter, like Skippy or Jif
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tbsp granulated sugar (optional)
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat butter with a handheld mixer for 30-40 seconds.
Add in peanut butter, powdered sugar, and brown sugar, beating until well incorporated and fluffy.
Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, and beat until blended.
Mixing by hand, combine dry ingredients in batches with wet ingredients, stirring well after each addition.
Cover dough and refrigerate at least 2 hours (up to 24 hours).
Remove dough from refrigerator and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with ungreased parchment.
Scoop and shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar; place them 2 or 3 inches apart on the pans. With the back of a fork, slightly flatten each one with a crisscross pattern.
Bake cookies 10-11 minutes (rotate the pan after 5 minutes for even browning). Let pans cool between batches if needed.
Rest 2-3 minutes on pan before removing to a wire rack.