The internet sure has taken the old-timey notion of recipe sharing to a new, hyped-up level. While I still appreciate the intimacy of a hand written recipe card and will cherish my mothers recipe notebook when it gets passed on to me, I must admit I can get caught up in all the buzz when something new hits the webs.
We've recently reported on no-knead bread, NYT chocolate chip cookies, and the latest sensation: the bacon explosion. The internet is surely responsible for the Red Velvet Cake revival. Can cake pops be far behind? A few years back it was a sweet little peanut butter cookie that is made without butter or flour. Read on for my version...I've been making this peanut butter cookie for ten years, ever since I found it on the Epicurious site where it's called Mom-Mom Fritch's Peanut Butter Cookies. The recipe has accumulated over 200 comments since it appeared in 1999, several of them quite recent.
The original recipe has four ingredients: 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. People have revised it by adding vanilla or salt, less sugar, different kinds of sugar, chocolate chips, craisins and fresh peanuts. They've changed the cooking time, the size of the cookie and the oven temperature. As much as I hate to mess with simplicity, I did make some adjustments over the years based on these comments and my own experiments. Here's my latest version.
Sensational Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter (see note)
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
additional sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees°F.
Mix all the ingredients up in a bowl. Roll walnut-sized pieces into balls and roll balls in the additional sugar. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly with a fork in a crisscross pattern. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before removing from baking sheet.
Note: Peanut butter comes in all kinds of configurations and the kind you choose will influence your outcome. Some peanut butters are very sweet, some have been hydrogenated, some have a whole lot more in them than peanuts! Then there is the chunky versus smooth debate. I used a natural chunky version (Safeway brand) for this recipe that wasn't too sweet although it did have added cane sugar in the ingredient list.
Related: Bittman's No-Knead Bread Phenomenon
(Images: Dana Velden)
(Originally published April 1, 2009)