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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies Like Dad’s


Peanut Butter Cookies seem to have fallen into disfavour the last few years.  I used to make them when the boys were young but once they started school they weren't allowed bring them in their lunches anymore because so many children had peanut allergies.  I stopped making them because as a busy working mother I usually didn't have time to make a variety of cookies for home and school.  One kind had to do so the Peanut Butter Cookies got pushed to the side and mostly forgotten except for rare appearances. 

I heard my aunt once remark that as she got older she craved the food she grew up with.  Now, I understand what she meant.  I've had a craving for Dad's Peanut Butter Cookies for a while and haven't satisfied that craving until today.  Dad was a fabulous cookie baker, spending a few hours on the weekend turning out a several dozen cookies for Mom and his girls.  He was famous for his Chocolate Chip Cookies which I have never been able to replicate, but he also made special Coconut Cookies just for Mom (we'd almost have to sneak those), Chinese Chews and Peanut Butter Cookies.  As a kid, I didn't appreciate the Chinese Chews but I loved the other three.  The Peanut Butter Cookies were my favourite, even more than the Chocolate Chip or Coconut Cookies.  I can see Dad shaping the balls of dough and pressing the fork on top of each one to make the distinctive markings of a Peanut Butter Cookie.  Eating Dad's cookies, fresh from the oven, is an experience that is burned in my memory. 

Today I didn't want any peanut butter cookie, I wanted Dad's Peanut Butter Cookies but, of course, "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride".  I started experimenting (I won't tell you how many cookies I ate this morning) until I came up with a recipe that reminded me more of his cookies than any other recipe I had tried.  Dad's cookies weren't flat.  They held the pattern well and it didn't disappear or melt when baked.  His cookies weren't flakey or crisp nor totally soft. And I don't remember his cookies as cloyingly sweet as so many are now.   They were perfect, how ever he made them. 

This is a recipe I found in Mom's bag of recipes.   I "fixed" it up a little until I had the taste and texture I wanted. (as close to Dad's cookies as I could get).  First, I made them as they were written but they were too flat.  I remade them adding baking soda but they were still too flat and they were also a bit too sweet.  I did a bit of research in a foods text book and decided to add a little more flour.  Finally, I had a cookie more like Dad's than the others I had tried.  (I could have rewritten the story of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears replacing the porridge with Peanut Butter Cookies.)

Here is the recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies Like Dad's (well, almost).

Peanut Butter Cookies
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¾ cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper or lightly grease.

Cream butter, peanut butter and white and brown sugars together until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla. 

Mix or sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.  Mix until a dough forms.  Do not over mix. 

Form dough into 1-inch balls and place on the cookie sheet(s) about 2 inches apart.  Using a fork press in a criss-cross pattern.  If fork sticks, dip in flour. 

Bake in the preheated oven 8-10 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.  Remove from oven and let sit a minute or two and then remove from cookie sheet.  Let cool before storing in covered container.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.  


Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars together.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.  Do not over beat the batter.


Roll the dough in approximately 1-inch balls.  Press the balls with a fork giving the cookies their distinctive markings.  Dad only gave them one press but I think most people would be familiar with the criss-cross markings.  Dip the fork in flour if it sticks in the dough.


Bake the cookies8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown on the edges.  Let sit on pan about a minute before removing. 

 Peanut Butter Cookies in all their glory!


 What could be better on a rainy day than cookies and milk?

 Almost like Dad's. 

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