Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

I taught a baking class today, and one of the confections was the peanut butter cookie. Simple, yet refined.

• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
• 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• Sea Salt, for sprinkling (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper, and set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, peanut butter, and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until well combined.
3. Add flour and baking soda to mixing bowl with butter mixture and beat just to combine.
4. In a separate bowl, pour 1 cup of granulated sugar. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough, drop into bowl and cover with sugar. Pick up and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough, placing scoops 3 inches apart. With the tines of a fork, press the dough balls lightly with the back of the fork to flatten them slightly. Press fork in sugar and onto cookie as well if desired. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
5. Transfer to the oven, and bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets depending on your oven halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

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