Here’s a hypothetical situation. It’s Christmas Eve, you gave away all your homemade cookies (if you happen to have made them in the first place), and you just found out Santa (or a guest) is gluten-free. There’s no way you’re going to the grocery store for special ingredients but you may be able to pull off a mini mart run. What if all that happened? What would you do?
You would make these cookies. These are barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen who got them from the Ovenly cookbook. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Here’s hoping you don’t need these tonight, and you stay clear of mini marts, but in case of emergency, you’re covered. Have a good one all, enjoy your people, and see you on the other side!
Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
Yield 26 to 28 cookies with a 1 2/3 tablespoon or #40 scoop.
- 1 3/4 cups (335 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups (450 grams) smooth peanut butter (see note at end)
- 1 cup (or so) of your favorite chocolate chips (optional)
- Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smooth and completely incorporated; you shouldn’t be able to see any ribbons of peanut butter. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.
Scoop or spoon the dough into balls — from a heaping Tablespoon to monster 1/4 cup sized. Place on prepared pan. For the tallest final shape, place the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Bake smaller cookies for 14 to 15 minutes and larger for 18 to 20. When finished, cookies should be golden at edges. They’ll need to set on the sheet for a minute or two before they can be lifted intact to a cooling sheet. With any luck Santa hits your house late enough to let them cool completely so the crispy outside/soft inside thing can really happen.
Do ahead: You can make the dough in advance and either refrigerate it for a couple days or scoop out the cookies, freeze them, then bake them right from the freezer.
About chilling the dough: You can scoop and bake the cookies right away, but they keep their shape better if you chill them in the freezer for 15 minutes first.