The Easiest Cookie Exchange Cookies in the Entire World

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I met someone at a party a few days ago and we got onto the subject of cooking vs. baking. She said that she's really gotten into cooking lately, but doesn't enjoy baking since it's nowhere near as forgiving. It's true that there are a lot of specific reactions that come from baking that only work when using the correct ratio of ingredients. Anyone that's ever tried using honey as a substitute for sugar knows that cookies are never going to set quite as well. And if you've accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder or vice versa, well, things can go south pretty quickly.

I mentioned a super easy brownie recipe that she was still worried would have too many steps, too many ingredients, or too many places to go wrong. But what I should have mentioned was this cookie recipe. It is, in all seriousness, with no hyperbole, the EASIEST cookie recipe in the entire world (and no, that's not just a cute way of saying "buy some chips ahoy!"). 

I started making the peanut butter version of these when I was still in high school. My mom had cut out a Skippy peanut butter ad from a magazine that had a flourless cookie recipe and she thought it seemed like a quick thing I could make for Christmas. I've changed the recipe slightly (substituting brown sugar for white sugar, and eliminating the vanilla extract because just don't think it adds anything), and I make these cookies every single year. And every single year, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are the fave on every cookie tray I prepare. Except, that is, where my husband is concerned.

I don't know how it managed to escape my notice when I agreed to marry this heathen, but he DOESN'T! LIKE! PEANUT BUTTER! I don't... I mean... How even... WHAT?? He'll eat a peanut butter and chocolate combo dessert, but it's not his thing, and he much prefers Nutella to peanut butter, and I can't even handle it, but I try my hardest. So this year, I decided to make him a Nutella version of these absolutely perfect and super simple cookies so that everyone is happy (plus, Nutella is delicious, so it's not like I'm making any sacrifices). They're essentially the same recipe except that the Nutella version uses flour instead of sugar to bind up the much more oily nut butter (and because Nutella doesn't need any added sugar).

Here are some quick tips for making these cookies even easier! Grab a piece of plastic wrap and place it in your measuring cup, and then scoop in your peanut butter or Nutella. You can then just plop the butter right out of the plastic wrap into your bowl, getting every bit into your cookie dough! Also, use Jif or Skippy peanut butter. Trust me on this. I have tried Peter Pan, I've tried store brands, I've tried the natural peanut butter. None of them hold up. The cookies take forever to bake, and they turn out much flatter and less melty and soft. Whatever ratio of something to something is in Jif or Skippy works perfectly for this recipe, and whatever is happening in every other peanut butter is not friends with it. You can use the store brand Nutella though. 

Also, mix with your hands! It will come out so much better if you just get your mitts in there and squeeze all these ingredients together. It's messy and fun and a perfect thing to get kids involved with if you have any tiny bakers in your kitchen. But even if it's just you, I promise the dough turns out perfect every time if mixed with your hands and not with an electric mixer. So three ingredients, a quick toss with your hands, and 10 minutes in the oven. Nobody could screw this recipe up!

Here it is!

NUTELLA COOKIES

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 10 minutes  |  Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12-24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Nutella
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of flour

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl using your hands.
  3. Make 1" balls of dough and place 1" apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to set.
  5. Let cool on the cookie sheet for one minute, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 10 minutes  |  Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12-24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of peanut butter (use Jif or Skippy, TRUST ME)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of brown sugar

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl using your hands.
  3. Make 1" balls of dough and place 1" apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to set.
  5. Let cool on the cookie sheet for one minute, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

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