Classic Peanut Butter Cookies With a Salty Twist
Peanut butter cookies are one of my favorite treats. Here's my take on a classic peanut butter cookie recipe with a dash of Himalayan pink salt for folks who like sweet and salty.
I absolutely love peanut butter. And as a child, peanut butter cookies were one of my all-time favorites. As an adult, though, my pallet has changed, and I often prefer sweet treats that are tempered with a bit of salty flavor. Some traditional peanut butter recipes suggest rolling the dough balls in table sugar before pressing them flat on a cookie sheet. But I find that this makes the cookies much too sweet for my adult taste buds.
Using a traditional peanut butter cookie recipe, I made a few adaptations to create a slightly saltier tasting cookie. I reduced the amount of salt in the dough from a half teaspoon of table salt to a quarter teaspoon of table salt. And instead of rolling the dough in white sugar before baking, I sprinkled Himalayan pink salt on the cookie tops.
Prepping and Baking Time
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup (1 Stick) butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt, (for sprinkling on cookies)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease two large baking sheets with butter.
- In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. (You may use a hand blender or wooden spoon to blend the mixture together. Use whichever method is most convenient for you.)
- Mix in peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
- Beat in one fresh egg. Consistency should be smooth and well incorporated.
- Add in table salt and baking soda, followed by the flour. Mix until ingredients together until well combined.
- When mixture forms into a solid dough, pinch pieces of dough off and roll into 1-inch balls. Place dough balls on cookie sheets, evenly spaced out. (About 12 dough balls per sheet.)
- Lightly flatten each dough ball with a fork. Then, using clean, dry hands, sprinkle a pinch of Himalayan pink salt over each cookie, distributing the salt crystals evenly with the grooves. Don't overdo it with the salt. Keep it light.
- Bake for 12–15 minutes at 375 C (190 F). Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool completely before transferring to cookie tin or plate.
Choose High-Quality Himalayan Pink Salt for Best Results
I think that fine grain Himalayan salt better tasting than coarse sea salt when it's sprinkled on baked goods. The grains are less coarse and melt in the mouth quickly—you don't get a sudden crunching feeling--like chomping down on a grain of sand or eggshell—when you bite into the cookies. I find that sea salt can be too coarse unless they are pushed through a grinder first. If you don't have your own grinder, make sure to look for Himalayan salt that is labeled "fine grain."
Crunchy Peanut Butter or Smooth?
What's your favorite?
Do You Like to Bake for Other People?
I never realized how satisfying it was to bake something sweet for people I cared about until I got over my fear of messing up and made my first cheesecake from scratch. Since then, I've settled on a few favorite dessert recipes that I can confidently whip up without much fuss. Here are some of the reasons scientists, and bakers alike, believe that baking is good for your heart and soul:
- Baking is a creative process and a form of self-expression.
- Baking requires mindfulness. Measuring, rolling, forming and piping icing are all acts that require focus and attention.
- Baking can bring comfort to others and establish a sense of community in the face of upset and turmoil. When people are feeling helpless watching others cope with grief, loss or illness, baking a cake, some cookies or a pie and sharing it with the family can help express empathy and understanding when it's hard to find the right words is difficult.
© 2018 Sadie Holloway