Saturday, January 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies - We're Going Old School

In the past, I haven't made much of a secret about my culinary upbringing.  My sainted Mother was a product of the 60's.  She believed the ads, read the magazines and never met a chicken she couldn't pour a can of cream of mushroom soup or top with a slice of Velveeta.  My brother and I still refer to the spring of '68 as, "the dark times", when Better Homes and Garden published a recipe with chicken, the soup AND a slice of the cheese product.  To be fair, my mother was among the first generation of working mothers who were told they could have it all, full time career, husband, children and a social life.  Cooking took second place (well, 8th actually).

My wife, on the other hand, had a stay at home mom who cooked every day.  When Jackie went her own way in the world and left home, she took an afternoon and had her Mom write out her recipes for her.  35 years later, she still has 3 books of index cards.  Most are weathered yellow, stained from use and are among her treasures.

During Jackie's recent recovery from her health scare, she asked for one of her Mama's recipes.  Peanut Butter cookies like her Mom made.  We were on a protein kick to get her blood numbers back where they should be.  A snack with peanut butter was literally just what the Doctor ordered.

I am going to use this as my "Cooking For Empty Nesters" post.  A good chance to remind myself to not get caught up in reinventing the wheel.  Sometimes I want to add new ingredients (wonder how a little grated ginger would taste in these cookies???  Or my personal favorite is to add just a pinch of Cayenne Pepper to sweet gookies for just a hint of pop).  Sometimes I want to be different just so I can brag about how different I can make a recipe.

But sometimes you just want a cookie like your Mama (in-law) makes.

Cooking for Empty Nester's Tip #2
On occasion, go old school and find a surprise.  Cook an old favorite and don't fall into the blogger trap of different to be different.  Find that recipe that is a remembrance for who you cook for and make them think of simpler days.

So, here's Mama's Peanut Butter Cookie recipe...

1/2 cup Shortening
1/2 cup white Sugar
1/2 cup (packed) Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
2 TBS Milk
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 3/4 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1tsp Soda

Cream Shortening and Sugars, add the egg, vanilla & milk.  Add peanut butter and mix well.  Add sifted dry ingredients.  Make rounded teaspoons of dough & roll the balls in additional sugar.  put on cookie sheet.  Press with a fork.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.


  1. I have to admit, growing up Peanut Butter Cookies and Oatmeal Cookies were my favorite. Both old recipes are the best I've ever found.

  2. Peanut butter cookies are one of the few cookies I like and I think it is because they are one my mother made for us as kids.

  3. How funny, I am going to make a similar recipe today or tomorrow and post it soon. Great minds must think alike. ;)

  4. I must concur! Sometimes old school is the best school and we shouldn't be messing with those favorites.

  5. Well said!
    Those peanut butter cookies look just like the ones I grew up on, too. And the weathered yellowed recipe, written in cursive on an index card... Just like all the recipes my mom used when we were growing up. These look great - I don't think I have the recipe my mom used to make that looked like this. I'll try it out - I'm sure nostalgia adds to the sweetness, too!

  6. Huzzah for PB cookies! I could not agree more. The innovative recipes are fascinating, but the oldies are the ones that warm my heart. + LOL on your sainted mom and her cans of soup. :)

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse

  7. This is a sweet retrospective. I still don't believe that we can have it all, balancing a career, raising kids, and having a social life sounds exhaustive to me.
    I see you are a recipe tweaker, so am I. :) These cookies look delicious. I;m glad to hear that Jackie is feeling better.

  8. While my Mom was a good cook, once she started working, cooking definitely took a back seat. One favorite dinner of mine though? White bread that had cooked bacon criss-crossed and then huge slices of mozzarella cheese - then broiled.

    The outside bread was toasted, the inside bread was still soft, and the salty delicious combo of bacon and cheese. And what's funny is I don't remember there being a vegetable, fruit or side dish with this meal!

    Sometimes old school is best. Although now you have me thinking about adding cayenne to my next batch of cookies! :D