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Baking with Natural Peanut Butter? Do This Key Step First

Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference.
By Published Aug. 4, 2021

When we’ve got a hankering for peanut butter cookies, whether soft and chewy, crispy at the edges, or even sandwiched around a filling, our go-to for baking them is a conventional creamy PB such as Skippy, since its ultrasmooth, homogeneous texture mixes so easily into the dough.

But what if you’re the kind of cook who keeps only natural peanut butter in their cabinet? Will this grainier spread, which also usually has a slick of separated oil sitting at the top, work as well? 

The answer is yes—but only if you take this one key step: You’ve got to stir the peanut butter well just before measuring it—and you’ve got to make sure that you’ve been stirring just as thoroughly all along. Only then will you ensure that the PB going into your dough has the proper ratio of solids to fats. (If you have any doubts, it's best to spring for a new jar.)

Don’t worry that natural peanut butter isn’t usually sweetened while the conventional kind is—in our recipes we didn’t notice a difference. But do bake with a natural PB that has salt, so your cookies will be properly seasoned, heightening all the flavors of these old-fashioned favorites.

Peanut Butter IS TOO OILY

Cookies made with the loose, oily peanut butter from the top of the jar spread too much.

Peanut Butter IS TOO DRY

Cookies made with the dry, crumbly dregs were hard and stunted.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.