I get cravings for certain things seemingly out of nowhere. Does this happen to you too? First, it was the pizzelles. And now peanut butter cookies. I haven’t eaten a peanut butter cookie in well over five years due to the food allergy I’ve talked about before, so I thought it was a little crazy to get hungry for one all of a sudden. But who am I to say no to a craving? (Probably the same person who is still carrying around an extra 5 pounds from the holidays, but we won’t talk about that.)
And so to the kitchen I went. Peanut butter cookies are one of my favorite cookies to make because they are pretty much fool-proof and don’t require any fancy mixing instructions. You basically throw your sugar/fat/flavorings in and mix, add an egg and mix, and then add the flour mixture and finish combining everything. You’re left with a wonderfully soft dough that is ready to be rolled, dipped in sugar, crisscrossed, and baked. Couldn’t be easier!
I am going to come right out and address the elephant in the room: shortening. I know it makes many of you shudder. And yes, it’s in the list of ingredients below. It’s true that we have come a long way since the shortening and margarine days of the 1980’s, but I have to confess: there are still some recipes that make me cling to the shortening and peanut butter cookies are one of them. Trust me when I tell you I have tried to replace it with butter. Many times. The result? Crumbly cookies that make my taste buds recognize the crunchiness more than the peanut butter goodness. I can’t have that in a peanut butter cookie. So, I still use shortening in peanut butter cookies. And I still use it in peanut butter blossoms. I hope you won’t stone me.
This is the recipe that I have been using seemingly forever, as it came from one of my mom’s little recipe books. My guess is that it was created by some corporation because the original recipe has brand names listed for most of the ingredients, but I have no idea where it came from. Probably an advertisement for one of the ingredients in a magazine. Those little recipe books of my mom’s are priceless. I have been spending time lately going through them as well as my grandma’s old saved recipes. What treasures! I have unearthed countless yellowed newspaper clippings, recipes scrawled on scratch paper or napkins, and old favorites that haven’t been made in years that I forgot about. I plan on tackling many of them, so look for many of these recipes to start showing up in the near future. I hope you look forward to reading about them because I certainly can’t wait to make them!
1 Year Ago: Fresh Strawberry Tart
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup vegetable shortening
1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
Granulated sugar, for rolling cookies
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
2. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add the egg and beat just until blended. Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture gradually, mixing just until combined.
4. Put the granulated sugar in a small bowl. Scoop a tablespoonful of dough and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Roll the dough into the sugar and place on the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Dip the tines of a fork into the sugar and make a crisscross patern on the cookies, flattening them slightly.
5. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack.
Storing: Store these cookies in an airtight container for about a week. You can also freeze these cookies in a freezer bag for approximately 3 months and thaw when you are ready to eat them.