You thought ultra chewy, ultra peanut-buttery, ultra soft peanut butter cookies could not get any better, right? That was before you added MAPLE GLAZE. If you've ever topped your pancakes with peanut butter, then doused the whole stack with maple syrup, you'll know why I'm so excited about this flavor combo. It's. so. good.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 or more large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat 1/4 cup butter until it is creamy and light with no lumps, at least 1-2 minutes.
Add 3/4 cup peanut butter and beat well until there are no lumps.
Add 1/2 cup oil and mix well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
Add 3/4 cup packed brown sugar. Add 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar. Beat well for about 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the bowl once.
Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 2 eggs. Beat well, scraping the sides.
*Add in 3 and 1/4 cups flour, but do not mix it in yet. I cannot stress enough how important it is in this recipe to measure your flour correctly. Too much flour and the dough won't even come together. Do NOT reach your measuring cup into your flour bin and scoop out the flour. You must use a spoon (or another measuring cup) to scoop up the flour and pour it into the 1 cup measuring cup. Then level off the top without packing it down. Do not mix in the flour yet.
Use a 1/2 teaspoon to stir 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder into the flour. Add 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the flour and gently stir it into the flour. Then use the beaters or a spoon to mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
The dough is VERY dry. You may need to mix it with a wooden spoon toward the end if your electric mixer can't handle it. (A stand mixer will do fine.) Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl and make sure all the flour is incorporated, but once all the white streaks are gone, stop mixing. Over beating cookie makes for tough cookies; no thanks. We want tender cookies!
Use a 1 and 1/2 inch cookie scoop to shape the dough. Use your hands to press the cookie dough into the scoop, then release and reshape into a ball with your hands if necessary. If you don't have a cookie scoop, just use your hands to shape into a 1 and 1/2 inch ball.
Place on the prepared baking sheet with about 2 inches of space in between.
Use a fork to smash each cookie to about 1/2 inch thickness. Pick up the fork, turn it perpendicular, and smash the other way to even it out. Dip the fork in sugar in between smashes, if the fork starts sticking to the dough.
Bake the cookies at 350 for 8-9 minutes. You want the cookies to be set on the edges and not be shiny on top. (A litle bit of shine on top (size of a quarter or less) is okay if you prefer slightly under baked cookies.
Take the cookies out of the oven and let set on the pan for 5-10 minutes. Use a spatula to remove to a cooling rack. Let the cookies cool completely.
Continue baking the rest of the cookies, and let them all cool.
When the cookies are cool, make the glaze. In a medium bowl add 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons hot water, and 1/2 teaspoon maple extract. Whisk it all together. Taste it and add another 1/4 teaspoon maple extract if you want.
Use a spoon to add about a teaspoon of glaze to the top of each cookie.
Let the cookies set for 30-60 minutes, so the glaze has time to harden a bit.
Before serving, top each cookie with flaked sea salt or kosher salt, if that's your thing. Totally optional!
Store the cookies covered on the countertop for 2-3 days.
**I used fake maple syrup (made with corn syrup) but real from-a-tree maple syrup will work great too.