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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

Ah, Schenectady Gazette, where would we be without you? Today, for instance, you informed us that five more Friendly's locations (including Glenville!) have closed and that ham radio is a blossoming hobby among the youth of upstate New York. Sure, I was sad to discover that ham radio is not a new EpicMealTime video, but I was interested in the story nonetheless. Most importantly, though, is your contribution to culinary history. For without you, we might never have made peanut butter cookies with their signature fork-tine imprint.

Or so says local legend, which points to a 1932 copy of the Gazette as having the first reference to peanut butter cookies as we know them. Now, there is a reason for pressing down the cookie dough: it helps the cookie bake evenly. But I've recently felt that peanut butter cookies were being a bit hampered by their stripes. It's not easy to play around with a cookie that has to maintain a flat surface and noticeable fork marks. There is one common deviation for peanut butter cookies, and that is the Hersey Kiss peanut butter cookie. In that recipe, one Kiss is pressed down into the center of the dough, creating a pretty—if always slightly annoying to eat—dessert.

This Peanut Butter Coconut Cookie is one more step on the road to peanut butter cookie liberation, or PBC Lib as we like to call it here at the cause.

The dough is made with all natural peanut butter and a modest amount of light brown sugar, resulting in an exterior cookie that is nutty and natural tasting, with a mild sweetness. The cookies are dipped in coconut flakes and given one small button of dark chocolate. Because the cookie base is not too sweet, the coconut flavor is able to shine through, and the small dot of chocolate feels like a burst of flavor.

Has anyone else been thinking outside the tines with peanut butter cookies? I'd love to hear some ideas.

Get the Recipe

Peanut Butter Coconut Cookies »

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the Community Manager of Serious Eats and writes the Wake and Bake, Cookie Monster, and Serious Entertaining columns. She likes perusing her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar.

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