When you think of a peanut butter cookie, the image that comes to mind is a dark tan colored cookie with a grid on the top. Somehow, nothing else seems right. That doesn’t mean, though, that’s the way it must be.
If you’ve made peanut butter cookies, whether using the simplest recipe which calls for just three ingredients, or a more complex one, you know that the dough is quite thick. Other cookies like chocolate chip also are made with thick dough, but they spread readily in the heat of the oven. Peanut butter cookies don’t.
Most of the recipes that I’m familiar with call for the dough to be formed into balls and then flattened. It matters not whether you flatten the cookies with something like the bottom of a glass, the flat of your hand, or a fork. If you use a glass, there’s no need to use a fork; the criss cross pattern is simply for decoration. If you don’t flatten the cookies first, then the fork does double duty – it performs both functions.
One very subtle result of creating the pattern is that the little tips of dough bake up crisper than the rest of the cookie, giving you both a bit of additional texture and deeper taste where the dough is more baked. You can also add texture by using chunky style peanut butter or adding chopped peanuts.
Bottom line, the answer to your question is, yes.
If you’re looking for a peanut butter cookie that has chocolate (and no criss-crosses), give these Peanut Butter Cup Cookies a try.