¾ cup / 150gramsgranulated sugar, white or cane (plus some extra for sprinkling)
1 cup / 125gramsall purpose flour , (plain flour in the UK), use gluten-free oat flour for GF
½teaspoonbaking soda , (bicarbonate of soda in the UK)
½teaspoonsalt, (use ¼ teaspoon if your peanut butter is salted)
¼ cup / 60mlsunsweetened non-dairy milk, if using oat flour you will need less. See instructions.
Preheat oven to 350 ° F ( 175 ° C) and line a large cookie or baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the peanut butter and sugar together really well until smooth. If you don't have a mixer you can do the mixing by hand but it does become hard work when the dough becomes stiff later.
To the bowl add the vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and milk (don't add the milk if using oat flour) and mix again until everything is combined and you can no longer see any dry flour. You will probably need to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula a few times during mixing so all of the flour gets incorporated. It will become stiff and difficult to mix. That's normal and is what gives us perfectly short, melt in the mouth cookies! If you are using oat flour start without the milk and add it slowly and gradually only if you need to, bearing in mind the batter should be very stiff.
Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of mixture per cookie (using an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop will enable you to get them all even sizes). Roll into balls and place on the baking tray at least 2 inches apart. Using a fork flatten them down in a criss-cross pattern so they are about ½ to ¾ inch high. If the fork sticks you can dip it in water and shake off the excess before using it to press the dough down.
Sprinkle the top of each cookie with some granulated sugar and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. 12 minutes will give you soft, underbaked in the middle cookies and 14 minutes will give you crunchier, crumblier cookies. These cookies don't really spread so will look much the same when they come out as they did going in.
Remove from the oven when done. They will be really soft while hot so leave them on the tray for 5 to 7 minutes before attempting to move, then transfer to a cooling rack with a spatula. They will firm up as they cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Baked cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
If you don't have baking soda you can omit it and they will still turn out ok, but the texture is marginally better with it so use some if you can. To freezeFreeze baked cookies for up to 3 months. The cookie dough freezes well too. Make the dough and roll into balls. Lay them out as directed on a lined tray and flatten down with a fork. Freeze the entire tray uncovered until the cookies are hard, then remove from the tray and put carefully in freezer bags or an airtight container. You can bake them straight from the freezer. Lay them out on a lined tray and sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar then bake, adding an extra 2 minutes to the time. Success Tips
Do not add the milk to the peanut butter before the other ingredients. The peanut butter will seize. Mix the ingredients in the order stated.
Never place cookie dough balls on a hot baking sheet. Keep your prepared sheet away from the preheating oven while mixing the dough.
Weigh your flour. Measuring cups are not accurate enough for consistent results.
Don't overmix the dough.
Use a good quality salt and not cheap table salt. It makes a big difference to flavour in recipes like this.
A handful of chopped peanuts or chocolate chips can be added to the dough.