Peanut Butter Cookies
I vividly remember my mother stressing these two important things: open the windows and doors, daily, no matter how hot or cold it is. She said, every house and person needs a waft of fresh air. And, that it was imperative for a woman to maintain a quiet place to rest her mind and feet. “A woman needs to nap every day,” she used to tell me. “Even if you’re not sleepy, go somewhere and raise your feet.” My mother was famous for saying that it was vital for a woman to take some time for herself. “People will work you to the bone, if you let ‘em,” she used to say.
My Aunt Mildred gave this peanut butter cookie recipe to me years ago. I have found that these delicious, classic cookies are the perfect treat to nibble on when I’m resting between my house chores, and swift to bake when I want something sweet and elegant to serve when the ladies come over to talk. I like peanut butter cookies when they’re unadorned—but I also like them when they’re dressed up with chunks of chocolate or butterscotch chips.
If the truth be told, sometimes I bake peanut butter cookies for the warm and homey aroma they release…people walk in and feel so at home; they get a whiff of the house, and right away they feel comforted. In that way, fresh, home baked peanut butter cookies also have a perfect love technique built in them. The aroma takes people back to their childhoods.
NOTE: You don’t have to put the normal, crisscross fork design in your peanut butter cookies if you don’t want to. My cousin, Michelle, says she never does. Says, for some reason, she hates that pattern. However, I do sprinkle the tops of most of my cookies with table sugar.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 cookie tins. Set them aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Mix until the ingredients are well-combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until they are well-incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir well. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the into the peanut butter mixture until the mixture is well–blended. Shape the dough into 1- ¼ inch balls, larger or smaller, if you prefer. Roll each ball of dough into granulated sugar. Drop the balls, 2-inches apart, onto the prepared cookie tins. Using the tines of a fork, flatten each ball with a crisscross design. Place the cookies in the 350-degree preheated oven. Bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are light brown, and the cookies are set. Take the cookies out of the oven. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Using a cookie spatula, move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 3 to 4 dozen peanut butter cookies.