Sometimes in life I’m almost sorry that I know how good something is because then I know. I know just how delicious it is. The most recent of these discoveries is the peanut butter cookies from The City Bakery. This NYC gem is nestled in the blocks between Chelsea and the Flatiron District and I cannot believe that I didn’t know it existed until recently.
While they make plenty of delicious baked goods, it’s their peanut butter cookies that converted me into a believer. They aren’t a sweet cookie necessarily. They lean more towards a salty, savory cookie with rich peanut flavor and just a hint of sweetness.
Their consistency though, is where it’s really at. These cookies don’t rise or flatten very much. They outside bakes crisp while the inside manages to stay dense and slightly wet still. The sprinkle of sugar and salt on the top? Genius.
Unfortunately for everyone, the recipe is hard to get your hands on. Fortunately for everyone, the New York Times reverse engineered the recipe so they could share it with the world. This is their version of the classic cookie and it’s close to perfect! I think the use of unsweetened peanut butter is key- this isn’t a super sweet cookie so you want to make sure you use the right ingredients. Also, this isn’t a cookie that gets flattened with a fork, no matter what peanut butter cookie tradition demands. Just let them be, they’re perfect.
the city bakery’s peanut butter cookies
from the New York Times’ adaptation
makes about 3 dozen cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 cups unsweetened creamy peanut butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 heaping teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
extra salt and granulated sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and both sugars until they are light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the peanut butter and salt. Mix until combined. Add the salt and flour and mix again just until it is well combined, there is no dry flour, and it forms a consistent dough. Line baking sheets with parchment and use a medium-sized cookie scoop to measure out the dough into rough, round dollops. Leave two inches between the cookies as they will not spread. Combine together two tablespoons sugar and one tablespoon coarse salt. Sprinkle over each cookie generously, making sure that it lands in the nooks of the cookies. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden around the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.