For variations, see below
NOTE: Betsy says that I need to point out that everyone will think I am crazy for mentioning the idea of half and half instead of milk. Some points to consider:
You are eating the cream with a cookie full of sugar -- so having a higher ratio of fat is really good for you (and especially kids)...
It slows down that blood sugar spike from the cookie and thus reduces the amount of insulin that the pancreas needs to kick out.
Every time we get a 'sugar high', our bodies kicks out insulin to protect us. The insulin helps us quickly convert that extra sugar into stored fat.
This process changes the hormones in our bodies to store more fat in the future. Mostly by desensitizing our bodies to insulin, which leads to diabetes, which leads to inflammation of the arteries and thus is the root cause of a lot (if not most) of heart disease and stroke.
So really -- eat up that fat when you have a high carb snack or meal.
Sometimes using a scale for baking is important because the volume of a given weight of flour or another ingredient varies based on many factors.
However, the most important reason to cook or bake by weight is TIME. Your time.
It is SO much easier to cook if you have a good scale and get used to it. Think about it: you just scoop in peanut butter until it is the right weight, then pour in sugar, etc.
No extra measuring cups to scrape or clean after!
Here are some recommendations for kitchen scales.
If you wanted to avoid peanuts, try substituting cashew butter instead... BUT the trick is that you need to cut out the white sugar. (i.e. use half the sugar)
Sugar acts like a liquid in a cookie recipe. Cashew butter has a different profile than peanut and with the full amount of sugar, the cookies will be super thin and not very good.
With half the sugar, it will not be super sweet. You could sprinkle sugar on top of the cookie before baking or add a few extra chocolate chips if desired.
I would also recommend reducing the baking soda a bit:
Come on, right?
Make the basic peanut butter recipe and add 30g of dutch processed cocoa powder (~2 heaping Tablespoons).
These are a little drier, you could reduce the peanut butter by 20g and only use 200g if you prefer.
OK -- this really is the best cookie -- it isn't GF anymore, but the flour lets us add butter and... yeah... butter is SUCH a good idea for cookies... these are less 'rustic' and more cookie-like.
Make the same basic recipe, but add:
(more chocolate than the other chocolate recipe calls for)
Don't overcook. They will be very delicate, allow to cool on the pan a bit and then transfer to a wire sheet to cool almost fully before eating -- a glass of whole milk is a great idea.