|Smooth peanut butter|
When I was growing up in Memphis, my father was savory and my mother was sweet - he cooked, she baked. Baking is harder than cooking because so much precision is required. It takes a certain amount of discipline - to stick to the recipe, to stick to the measurements, to do it the same way every time. I learned from both my parents, but have never been as good a baker as my mother. My style tends to be a bit fast and loose and that doesn't make for a good baker.
My mother and I used to make peanut butter cookies together. I think they're one of the first things I ever baked/cooked by myself and, honestly, the cookies from this recipe are among the only ones I really like. Most commercial peanut butter cookies are too sweet and don't have the right texture. People also tend to want to put things in them (like chocolate chips) and that just doesn't really taste right to me. I suppose I'm rather doctrinaire about my peanut butter cookies.
|Old postcard - Overton Park, Memphis, TN|
The recipe for peanut butter cookies that I grew up on is a classic one from the Joy of Cooking. Through all of the updates of the classic, the recipe has remained constant and the cookies always taste great!
Peanut Butter Cookies
About 60 1.5-inch cookies
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Beat in a large bowl until well blended:
1/3 cup (5 1/2 tbs) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Stir in the flour mixture until blended. Shape into 1-inch balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Press flat with a fork. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool.
Next time you find yourself with a rainy day and bored kids, this is a great way to pass some time. It's also great for any day when you've got a sweet tooth. As someone who doesn't really like cookies, these are a truly great treat!
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