So this is more for Becky than anyone else. I don't know why I don't have her email, so I am going to use this recipe for my menu tonight as a substitute. Hope she sees it.
Today's Menu: Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
First Beck, yes, the time you bake the cookies determines how soft they are, but it is actually the amount of white sugar to brown sugar that will give you the chewy cookie you are looking for. More white gives you a firmer cookie, more brown will give you a chewier cookie. It's all about the molasses. This recipe calls for equal amounts of both sugars, feel free to give or take 1/4 cup in either direction.
In medium bowl, sift together:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
In mixing bowl cream:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temp
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup white sugar
Add 3 eggs, one at a time until just mixed in. Add 1 cup peanut butter (I prefer creamy, but you can use chunky if that's what you have on hand) and 2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or extract since most people don't have the paste. Mix until light and fluffy. Add flour in about 3 batches until mixture comes together.
Drop by rounded teaspoon or a small ice cream scoop onto baking sheet. Add no more than a dozen cookies per sheet. For a traditional look, make the criss cross pattern with fork pressing down. Slightly dampen fork to keep from sticking. For quicker results, use the bottom of a glass or a cookie press if you have one.
Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are just set in the middle. If cookies look done in the oven, you will have a hard cookie. If you do want a crispy cookie, bake 15-18 minutes until cookies are slightly golden around the edges. I usually get 2 dozen cookies.