These started with this small batch peanut butter cookie recipe, but since we are making a full batch I used the whole egg rather than just the yolk. And since making these thick and chunky peanut butter cookies, I’ve been rather drawn to using chunky peanut butter for those added specks of crunchy nuts. Lastly, of course, we’re making these with oat flour instead of all purpose.
The reason for this is well, I just love oat flour in cookies, brownies, muffins and blondies. But especially in cookies because unlike other ‘alternative’ flours, oat flour behaves quite similarly to all purpose yet it adds a lovely oaty flavor and it makes the cookies extra chewy. This chewiness is what I just adore here.
These bake up into these gorgeous cracked cookies with crinkles all over, kind of like a molasses cookie look, but with the dual flavor of hearty oats and salty peanut butter.
Butter: Where I usually say you can use salted or unsalted, here I have a preference for unsalted because we’re already getting added salt from the peanut butter. That said, if salted is all you have and you have a ‘saltier’ tooth, you can use it but omit the added salt altogether.
Sugar: Both fine granulated and brown sugar. The brown can be light or dark. If it’s dark the cookies might spread a bit more than what you see in the photos.
Peanut Butter: Use a generic brand (not homemade) that does not separate when left in the jar. I use JIF natural. You can use creamy or crunchy here.
Salt: fine sea salt, NOT table salt.
Egg: Just one large egg. I haven’t yet experimented making these egg-free but if I were to, I’d use 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 1 tablespoon of water.
Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
Leavening: Both baking soda and powder here, one to help them spread and one to help them rise up, then crack. Check the dates on the jars, make sure it’s still fresh!
Oat flour: I use store-bought, either Arrowhead Mills, Bob’s Red Mill or (the most affordable and just as great) Anthony’s. I have never had success making my own oat flour, perhaps because I have a standard food processor that cannot ‘mill’ it fine enough.
Start by partially melting the butter. You can do this in a microwave for 1 – 1.5 minutes or over the stove. Stop when the butter is about two thirds melted and can be ‘creamed’
Add the flavorings and whisk into the butter. Adding them to the fat portion of the dough brings the flavors out more
Pour in the sugars and whisk, very well. You’ll see the mixture start out grainy and separated and as you whisk it will turn shiny and cohesive
Measure in the peanut butter (this is one of those instances where a scale is wonderful because you won’t have to deal with scraping it out of a measuring cup!) and whisk it in.
Crack in the egg and whisk very well
Add the oat flour, baking powder and soda and switch to a rubber spatula. Stir until combined
Uncovered, let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour (if you need to leave it longer, cover it)
Preheat the oven and prep two cookie sheets by greasing them then lining them with parchment paper (the grease keeps the parchment paper in place)
Portion the cookies into 1.5 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons of dough each.
If you like, you can roll them in granulated sugar before baking (I add a pinch of fine sea salt to the sugar and whisk before rolling so you get a nice sweet/salty flavor)
In the oven the cookies will spread quickly, then puff up and crack. Once they have done so and have golden-ish edges, take them out. They’ll cool for about ten minutes on the pan then you can eat them =)
The dough needs an hour to chill (uncovered) in the fridge before baking. But if you like, you can leave it overnight – just cover it in plastic wrap to seal.
If you’d like to scoop the cookies and store them in the freezer, make the dough then chill the dough for an hour. Portion the cookies onto a parchment lined plate or tray and freeze them until solid, about 15 minutes. Then transfer to a ziplock bag to freeze.
You can bring the cookie balls to room temperature and bake as directed, or preheat the oven to 325 F and bake them for 15 minutes or until golden and the centers have cracked.
You’re always welcome to add chocolate chips or chocolate chunks! Bear in mind that chunks, which melt beautifully in the oven unlike chocolate chips, will push the cookies to spread even more.
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