Celina Windzio’s Nantucket Peanut Butter Cookies

For many years, Celina was my friend Sharon Smith’s mother’s helper. In Celina’s native country of Germany they don’t make peanut butter cookies – or at least she had never tried them- nor had she had chocolate chip cookies. She adapted this from a recipe she found in the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror, a local paper, and made them for Sharon’s three daughters, Alexandra, Julia and Hilary, summer after summer.

Celina Windzio's Nantucket Peanut Butter Cookies
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 3 dozen
  • ½ cup (¼ pound/1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus additional for rolling
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional, but strongly recommended)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat/exopat.
  3. Place the butter, peanut butter and sugars in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and mix until smooth and creamy.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, mixing well between additions.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix until everything is well incorporated.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
  7. To form the cookies: break off small pieces and roll into 1 inch balls.
  8. Roll the balls in the sugar and place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  9. Using the tines of a fork, push down gently until you have made a criss-cross pattern on top. Be careful not to press too hard, as they get flat while baking.
  10. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  11. Transfer the cookie sheet to the oven and bake until the cookies begin to brown at the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  12. Cool on the cookie sheet 2- 3 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
  13. Repeat with remaining dough.