To soften your butter, you can set it out for at least an hour or put it in the microwave on defrost for four seconds at a time, just until it's soft.
Add your butter and peanut butter to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Beat on high for 30 seconds, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed.
Add ½ cup of flour. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined.
Add in your remaining ¾ cup of flour and beat until combined.
Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, during which you should preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. (See Notes if you're making stuffed cookies, which require a different temperature.)
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. (I use my fingers to grab a little dough and quickly roll it between the palms of my hands.) Place the balls two inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
FOR CRISPY, CHEWY COOKIES: Use a fork to flatten the dough balls. Press down the tines of the fork vertically, then horizontally on the dough to form a crisscross pattern. (If your dough is too soft to make a clean pattern, chill it some more.)
FOR SOFT PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES: Do not flatten the dough balls. Bake them as is.
Bake the cookies on the center rack of your oven (one pan per oven) for 7-9 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. (My oven takes 9 minutes.)
Take them out of the oven and let them rest in the pan for 3-4 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. (The cookies will be too soft to transfer if you don't wait first.)
After they've cooled, you can store the cookies in a plastic container with a lid at room temperature for several days.
For best results, when using butter, use Skippy Natural instead of regular peanut butter.If you want to use regular peanut butter, you'll get better results using a stick of margarine (½ cup) instead of butter.For Double Peanut Butter Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips: Stir in 5 ounces of peanut butter chips to the dough. Roll into balls, but do not press them down. Bake as directed above. (You could use chocolate chips instead, if you wish.)For Peanut Butter Cookies Stuffed with Mini Reese's Cups: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place a mini Reese's cup (dark chocolate or regular) between two one-inch balls of dough. Press and roll the dough around the candy to enclose it. Place up to 8 of the stuffed dough balls on a half baking sheet (space them farther apart than regular peanut butter cookies). Bake them for 11 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them rest in the pan for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool. The cookies taste best when fully cooled and set. Note, you will only get about 17-18 stuffed cookies from one batch of dough.Feel free to make a variety of cookies using one batch of dough. For the photos, I made a dozen crispy cookies, a dozen soft, and five stuffed cookies.*adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book