Delicious old fashioned peanut butter cookies. Nothing better than that heavenly aroma when you came home from school, unless it was biting into a warm, chewy cookie! Yum! As I was going through my recipe book the other day, I came across my mom’s recipe for these classic peanut butter cookies and just knew I had to make them.
Why had I waited so long? She died almost 30 years ago from breast cancer when I was a teen, but, man, she was an awesome baker. (Oh, and by the way, cancer stinks, doesn’t it?) And I am so grateful that she wrote down many of her recipes. A lot of them, she didn’t, though. She was one of those “a pinch of this,” “a dab of that” kind of cooks who didn’t always use a recipe, but just had an instinct of what and how much to combine. She made the BEST potato salad without a recipe, for example, but neither my older sisters nor I can replicate it. Do you know anyone like that? Let me just say I am in total awe of you if you are one of those cooks! Maybe it’s because I’m a librarian and organizer who must have everything in order, that my mind just doesn’t work that way in cooking. 🙂 Which is why I am so glad she had a written recipe for these classic cookies! And they are really simple to make.
Of course, if you are reading this, you like peanut butter cookies, too. So, you probably understand when I say the most important ingredient of all in making classic old fashioned peanut butter cookies is to use a fork to make that criss cross pattern on the top of the cookies! THAT, my friend, is the pièce de résistance, don’t you agree?
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1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 stick or 1/2 c. oleo
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
extra sugar to roll the cookies in
Preheat oven to 375°.
Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, salt, baking soda, and sugars).
Add in the wet ingredients (peanut butter, oleo, egg, and vanilla).
Stir to combine using a spoon.
Thoroughly mix the dough. I do not have a stand mixer. I prefer using my hands. It gives me more control so I can make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. But, if you would rather use a stand mixer, go for it. (Although it is much more satisfyingly fun to squish up the dough by hand. And, besides, that’s how my mom did it.)
Here’s what it should look like when thoroughly mixed.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. You can just eye-ball the measurements or use a 1″ cookie scoop.
Drop each ball of dough into a small bowl of sugar. Roll the ball in the sugar until it is completely covered.
Place the balls about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
Use a flat-bottomed drinking glass to gently flatten the balls. (By the way, these are the glasses I inherited after my dad died 20 years ago. I’ve had these my whole life and now my teens think they are the perfect size for a big glass of milk, too!)
(Gently. You’re not smushing a cockroach here!)
And now for the best part! Use a fork to make a criss cross pattern on the top of each cookie.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 8 – 10 minutes, depending on how you like your cookies. If you like them soft and chewy, bake them for 8 minutes or until they just begin to brown. If you like them crunchier, leave them in for 10 minutes or until they are evenly browned.
Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet before transferring to waxed paper.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Warm from the oven old fashioned peanut butter cookies! Yum!
I hope these bring back terrific memories of days gone by for you, too! Is there another kind of cookie your mom or grandma made that does the same? I’d love to know!
Here is another of my favorite family recipes, a decadent moist cake that has a crunchy topping of brown sugar & nuts, but the surprise ingredient is a can of fruit cocktail! Before you say, “Ewww,” trust me, it is delicious! Click here for the recipe: Fruit cocktail cake: a vintage dessert that will wow your guests.
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