I made these cookies for a fundraiser last night and, as always, was a little worried about the texture. It’s tricky to get vegan cookies to be tender, (and these are definitely crisp, not soft) but several people told me that they were the best peanut butter cookies they had ever tasted! (And one of them was my friend Phyllis, who is pretty much the most inspired baker in the history of the world.)
I used Adams brand peanut butter—the only PB I use for anything. It’s the closest thing to homemade, and it wasn’t involved in the recent recall. I buy mine at Costco in 5-pound tubs.
Admittedly, these cookies are no great nutritional bargain. They are mostly fat, sugar and white flour. But they’re cookies—they aren’t supposed to be healthy; they’re supposed to be fun!
So here they are—the world’s best peanut butter cookies (according to my friends):
4 tablespoons margarine
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2/3 cup Adams peanut butter **
¼ cup water
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cups white flour
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional, but encouraged)
** I won’t be held responsible for the results if you don’t use Adams.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together the margarine, brown and white sugar, and peanut butter. Add the vanilla and water and mix everything very thoroughly.
In a separate bowl sift together the salt, baking soda and flour. Stir it into the peanut butter mixture to make a very stiff, kind of crumbly dough. Add the chocolate chips and mix very thoroughly.
Form the dough into balls the size of walnuts and place on a nonstick cookie sheet (I always line the sheet with parchment paper). Flatten the cookies with the back of a wet fork twice, turning it to make a crisscross design. (I have absolutely no regard for non-traditionalists who don’t crisscross their peanut butter cookies!)
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until slightly browned (only slightly; don’t over-bake them). Allow to cool on a cooling rack. I like to transfer them to a plate and cover with plastic wrap while they are still just slightly warm because they get kind of hard otherwise.