Sometimes that need for something sweet strikes at a very inopportune time and when you have a fairly bare pantry. This is what led me to make these cookies late on Friday night when my husband and I were having a chilled out evening in front of the TV and a sugar craving hit. Without much butter or many eggs in the house I knew a cake was off the cards and it was too late for me to pop to the store and so I figured a cookie of some sort would be the best way to go, but without any chocolate my standby recipe couldn't be accomplished. I took stock of what I had available - honey, a few pistachios, pumpkin spice marshmallows, some overripe bananas and... a jar of peanut butter! Hooray for that wondrous little jar!

I decided to try and make a hybrid of the usual crunchy buttery peanut cookies and my favourite soft cookie recipe and I think it came out just perfectly. The texture is wonderful, soft but crunchy with peanut chunks and the dark brown sugar adds a lovely caramel sweetness. I was worried that there wouldn't be quite enough sweetness as I used all natural no added sugar peanut butter and because I decided upon a mix of brown sugars and powdered, so to counteract this I added the dusting of caster sugar. Not only do I love the extra sugary flavour but I adore the added subtle crunch and how pretty it makes them look! 

I really hope you love these cookies as much as I do, I'm considering this as one of those perfect spur of the moment baking victories!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes 12 large cookies

60g unsalted butter, softened
60g soft brown sugar
50g dark brown sugar
65g icing sugar
195g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
125g natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
60ml sunflower or vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
caster sugar for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a cookie sheet with baking parchment.
Beat together the butter and sugars for at least two minutes until they are pale and fluffy. While this is mixing sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
Scrape down the sides of the butter and sugar bowl and beat in the egg until fully combined. Now mix in the peanut butter, oil and vanilla extract. Add half the flour mix and stir in well, then add the second half and mix until just combined.
Put large spoonfuls of the cookie dough on to your lined tray, leaving a good amount of room between them as they spread - I did four cookies per tray. Grab a fork and press it down twice in opposite directions on to the cookie mounds to get a criss cross pattern and then sprinkle generously with caster sugar.
Bake for 10-12 minutes depending how crisp you like them - I did 10 minutes as I like my cookies nice and chewy with a just toasted edge. I baked my cookies in three batches of four.
These will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container, if they last that long!

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