I still remember the very first time I made my mom’s peanut butter cookies. Although I was only ten years old at the time, my mom never discouraged me from trying my hand in the kitchen. I became even more appreciative of this privilege when, well into my adult years, I learned from her how messy I had been as a novice baker. I don’t doubt for a moment she had a lot of clean-up when I was ‘finished’ in the kitchen; even after all these years I can fill the kitchen sink with remarkable ease.
I don’t remember why I chose to make peanut butter cookies that day, but does one ever need a reason for making cookies? The first sheet was in the oven and I was engaged in my usual rudimentary cleaning of the counters when there, behind the mixing bowl, I discovered the oleo. (For those of you unfamiliar with this word, oleomargarine was the original word for this artificial substitute for butter. It was shortened to oleo, but is now commonly referred to as margarine.)
You may wonder how anyone can mix up a batch of cookies and not notice that the shortening is missing, but this speaks to my ‘expertise’ in the kitchen at the time. I had to make a quick decision. Almost without thinking I pulled the partially baked cookies out of the oven and quickly scraped them back into the mixing bowl along with the softened oleo. Turning the mixer on, I incorporated the baked cookies into the dough remaining in the mixing bowl. I went ahead and finished the cookies according to the recipe.
When the plate of cookies was put on the table after dinner that evening, I waited with a bit of trepidation. I hadn’t felt like doing any taste tests when they came out of the oven earlier in the day, and I didn’t find them any more appealing now. I watched anxiously as my mom took her first bite. I nonchalantly asked how it tasted and when she gave her nod of approval, the knot in my stomach finally relaxed. It was only then that I confessed to the entire family my earlier mishap. It didn’t slow anyone down and the cookies disappeared.
I am fairly confident that at this point I would notice if I accidentally left out the shortening from a batch of cookies, only now it is butter in place of the oleo. My guess is that if you like peanut butter, you will enjoy these cookies. 🙂
Mom’s Peanut Butter Cookies
Cream butter, sugars and vanilla.
Stir in peanut butter.
Add dry ingredients.
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 9-10 minutes using any of the ideas below.
1) After rolling into balls, roll in granulated sugar before baking. This produces a soft cookie.
2) Use a fork to make the traditional criss-cross pattern. This produces a crisper cookie.
3) Bake about 7½ minutes. Remove from oven. Press Hershey’s Kiss into center of cookie. Return to oven for another 90 seconds.
Cool on wire racks.