Ok, I don’t really want to brag, but I have to. This peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe is THE BOMB! It’s super easy and the results are MMmmmwaaah! Salty-sweet, crunchy-chewy heaven. You’re going to love it!
And, just so you know, today’s travels are going to take us to Alabama, via Vermont and California. No worries. We’ll get there. It’s a pretty short trip.
When I was young and newly married, the women on my mom’s side of the family put together several copies of homemade, handwritten cookbooks which included their favorite “secret” recipes. My Gram gave me one copy for Christmas. I’ve had it since 1976. That’s a long time, in case you’re counting. The recipes are even older than that as most of the contributors to the book, my grandmother, my great grandmothers, and great aunt are all passed and gone. Luckily, my mother and cousin remain and luckily, too, all these ladies’ recipes remain, as well.
Now, I have to admit, there are a few recipes in the book I’ve never tried – like mincemeat pie. I may try it one day, out of curiosity, but I can remember at Christmastime, all my mom’s family coming out to Arizona from Vermont and making mincemeat pie. Nope. I wasn’t going to eat that. I was a very picky eater, to say the least. It’s probably sacrilegious to say so, but I didn’t care for the venison jerky they brought out, either. I apologize to their ghosts if their ghosts ever read this. One thing about food blogs, though, is most people don’t really read them. They just look at the pictures and skip to the recipes. I figure, if live folks don’t read them much, ghosts probably don’t, either. So, I’m safe and nobody’s feelings will get hurt.
Mrs. Booth’s Peanut Butter Cookies
One of the recipes in the book is from my great Gramma “B” in California titled “Mrs. Booth’s Peanut Butter Cookies” and it’s dated 1925. That’s almost 100 years ago! I have no idea who Mrs. Booth was. The “B” in Gramma “B” stood for Beatrice. I searched the family tree and not a Booth in sight. I Googled her and her cookies. Nothing. Whoever she was, she made one heck of a peanut butter cookie. I doubt she made it in 1925, though, because the peanut butter cookie hadn’t been invented, yet. More than likely, Gramma B meant 1935.
The recipe is just basically a list of ingredients and cursory instructions to cream everything, a lot. Like you’re making a pound cake or something. There was no yield, no oven temperature or cooking time, but I gave it my best shot. I mean cookies are cookies, right? And, 350° F is pretty standard. I baked them for 12 minutes and they weren’t quite done, but by 15 minutes they were just perfect. Slightly crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle. Just like I like them.
The Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, Pre-Constructed
I like putting all of my recipe ingredients in little bowls and pretending I’m on television. I get all Rachel Ray-ish and put EVOO in everything or I start bamming all over the place like Emeril. Sometimes, I scare the dog, but mostly nobody notices.
Seriously, though, it’s a good idea to get all of your ingredients together and measured out before you start making a recipe. This concept is called mise en place and it’s a great habit to get into. That way, you know for sure you have everything you need for your recipe before you get half of the ingredients mixed and realize you don’t have any peanut butter or you’ve only got one egg and need two.
Birth of the Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
The first time I made this recipe I realized creaming everything, a lot, didn’t work out so well. The cookies spread to kingdom come. So, that was the first adjustment I made to the recipe. The next time, I creamed the butters and sugars like a total of 3 or 4 minutes, instead of “until light and fluffy” like a cake. When the dough was all assembled, I also put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. It worked. The cookies still spread, of course, there’s a lot of fat in them, but they spread much less. They held a nice round cookie shape.
Another adjustment I made was to use “super crunchy” peanut butter. I like nuts in my cookies and using crunchy peanut butter in peanut butter cookies is a very easy way to get them. Lastly, I added chocolate chips. The slightly salty peanut butter cookie married to the sweet chocolate chips was a match made in heaven. The ULTIMATE Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe had been born. A juxtaposition of old and new. Mrs. Booth’s delicious, chewy peanut butter cookie recipe, along with my tweaks nearly a century later. I think that’s kind of cool. I wish Gramma B were here to taste them. Mrs. Booth, too!
Where Did the Peanut Butter Cookie Originate
It’s important to know the roots of your food. Whenever I’m working on a recipe, I like to know where it got its beginnings. Who invented it, why, and whatnot. Knowing these things grounds the food in time. Gives it provenance. Makes it more meaningful. Sure, you don’t need a lot of meaning to enjoy a decadent treat. You just eat it. Then you eat another. Then, you swear you’re not going to eat any more before you find yourself sneaking into the kitchen at midnight for just one more. Still, it’s nice to know where things come from so we can appreciate the people who contributed so many good things, like cookies, to the world.
Way back in the day, circa 1925 in Alabama, (see I told you were were going to Alabama), George Washington Carver put together a cookbook featuring, among 102 other things, three peanut cookie recipes. He was trying to promote peanuts as an alternative crop after the boll weevil did a number on cotton. Seems to prove my theory that you can motivate a lot of people with cookies. Like, you can change an entire agricultural industry on the promise of a really good cookie, right?
Anyway, sometime in the early 1930s peanut butter showed up as an ingredient in peanut cookies. Carver’s plan worked. Peanuts and peanut butter cookies everywhere. Well, maybe not everywhere, but you know what I mean. Lots of cookies. Shortly, thereafter, the famous fork pattern came into being. Peanut butter cookie dough was dense and using a fork to flatten the cookies prior to baking was almost a requirement. The pattern emerged as the exclusive brand of peanut butter cookies. The dough in this Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is not dense. It does not need to be smashed down with a fork. I just gently press the balls into a 1 inch high disc using the back of a spoon and the oven does the rest. Besides, fork lines and chocolate chips don’t match. So there’s that.
A Few Notes About the Recipe
It’s important to only put eight dough balls on a cookie sheet at a time. The cookies, even with less whipping and the refrigeration, still spread quite a bit. In fact, they’re kind of huge.
You also need to make sure to not smash the dough too much. This also helps reduce spreading. Only smash them down about 3/4 to 1 inch high.
Here’s a photo to show you just how big these cookies get.
I know you’re going to love these cookies. The recipe is super easy and so delicious. Please, if you’ve made this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Just rate it on the recipe card and/or leave a comment below. And, if you love this recipe, Pin it, or share it with your friends. Thanks.
Want more peanut butter and chocolate chip goodness? Try my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe.
This is literally THE BEST cookie recipe!!!
Thanks! Glad you like it. 🙂
Love the history. Photography is beautiful, sounds like a must try recipe