July 4th is just a little more special in my little town of Summit, New Jersey. That’s because Summit is all-American all the time. Our neighborhood, with 30-plus kids, means instant play dates, pick up ball games, sleepovers and potlucks without ever leaving the street. But, on July 4th, Summit hosts a fireworks display that rivals anything in a larger city. Families all over town host open houses and cookouts and not much has changed in the last fifty or so years. So, if you’re bringing potluck to someone’s house this July 4th, here’s an all-American recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. They couldn’t be easier to whip up and they just happen to be gluten free too!
About peanut butter: So many choices when buying peanut butter and so many great brands. So, take a moment and read the label because the peanut butter you should buy has just one ingredient: peanuts (and maybe salt). There are lots of artisanal brands out there but you can make your own too by giving peanuts a thorough whirl in the food processor.
Dark brown vs. light brown sugar: Dark brown and light brown sugar are simply granulated “white” sugar combined with molasses (which is a by-product of sugar). The molasses gives the sugar an earthy almost caramel-like flavor as well as a moister texture. Dark brown sugar has more molasses than light brown, so the flavor is more pronounced. Dark brown sugar is a terrific balance with peanut butter.
- 1 ½ cups natural peanut butter
- 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 bag milk chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat peanut butter and brown sugar until smooth and combined. Beat in eggs followed by vanilla and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips
- Using a medium-size cookie scoop (1½ tablespoons), place dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly and leave about 3-inches between cookies. Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies are puffed and brown. Cool and transfer onto wire racks.