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Peanut Butter Cookies

The inspiration for three-ingredient nut cookies comes from this quickie recipe, an urban legend of sorts. No, no ingredients have been left out. Just mix, shape and bake the dough. Baking soda gives a bit of lift, but it really isn't needed. The cookies are crisp and delicious with mainline peanut butter intensity and so fast, easy and good, you may never go back to your old recipe. Peanut butters vary in their sugar content, and Jif creamy PB gives a balanced flavor.

1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spritz baking sheets with no-stick spray.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the peanut butter and sugar until combined. Beat in the egg. Sprinkle baking soda, if using, over the mixture and beat in until combined.

Measure heaping-teaspoon-size pieces of dough into small blobs. Roll the blobs between your palms to make balls, and arrange about 1 inch apart on baking sheets. With the tines of a fork, flatten balls to about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, making a crisscross pattern.

Bake cookies in batches in the middle of the oven until puffed and pale golden, about 10 minutes.

Cool cookies on baking sheets 2 minutes. This is important because they are fragile when hot from the oven, and they need time to set up. Transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. Makes anywhere from 40 to 60 depending how many bites you like to get out of a cookie.

Thursday, December 16, 1999

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