You'll always find copious amounts of butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar here as I keep us overstocked in that department and the only other ingredients I needed for these cookies were flour, baking soda, salt, an egg, vanilla and peanut butter, of the crunchy variety. Yep, I always have those somewhere too - though not always the crunchy peanut butter as we are really creamy fans (it was on sale... couldn't help it!). I do actually make our own peanut butter for everyday uses, however for baking purposes, I usually stick with commercial brands as the natural peanut butter I turn out (just peanuts and salt) doesn't always react the same in recipes that are not tailored for it.
After bringing the dough together using our stand mixer, I noticed the dough was soft enough that one could just as well use a single bowl and a sturdy wooden spoon - besides, it'd be a good workout for your arm muscles! Using a tablespoon cookie scoop to turn out balls of the peanut dough, we then made the classic criss-cross topping to the cookies by smooshing (technical, huh?) the balls down using the tines of a fork. You can use the bottom of a glass, dipped in sugar, if you like or even whip out a potato masher and go to town for a more unique topping - you're just looking to flatten the dough.
Taking the cookies to the point where they are just golden on the bottom, while leaving the tops with barely any additional color, gave us cookies that had a slight crispness around the edges, leading to their centers that were soft and chewy. While creamy peanut will always have its place, I do have to mention how much we enjoyed the nibblets of nuts from the peanut butter - they imparted a nice contrast with their crunch and made the cookies feel more hearty.
Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies