Peanut Butter Cookies 3 Ways

“I don’t know, I can’t decide.” That seems to be my answer lately when Alex asks me what I’m going to make next, or even just what to have for dinner. Finally last week, I decided to cook up a Bertolli frozen shrimp dinner with Marie Callender’s cornbread. Yeah, I know, it’s not really cooking, but at least it got me back into the kitchen and motivated me to cook more “from scratch”. We gotta eat something besides pb&j’s and grilled cheese sandwiches.

These cookies are a perfect example of my fickleness. I had 5 different peanut butter cookie recipes opened up with the cookbooks stacked on top of each other. The book that happened to be on top (The Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook) was used as my framework for these cookies.  Have you ever tried Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter? If not, pick some up! I’ve seen a select few of the flavors at Super Walmart and at the local market. White Chocolate Wonderful and Dark Chocolate Dreams are both excellent choices. And guess what? The cookbook gives the recipes for those, too! Very easy, I might add :) Anyway, I started with a basic peanut butter cookie. I had about 1/3 of a bag of white chocolate chips out so I stirred those in the last half of the batter that I’d saved in the fridge. Then, I thought, let’s throw in some Craisins, too. Why the heck not- I get 3 cookies out of one. Just what this indecisive girl needs!

Adaptable Peanut Butter Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour (I used 2 cups all purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups peanut butter (I used crunchy)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 cup white chocolate chips, optional
3/4 cup dried cranberries, optional

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Add the sugars and mix until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until the dough is firm. Stir in the white chocolate chips and/or the dried cranberries, if using.

Use a tablespoon to make 1-inch  balls of dough and set them 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. If you have no mix-ins, use a fork to press down on each cookie twice, making a crisscross pattern on the top of each cookie.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from the sheet.