peanut butter cookies

being away for two years made me appreciate a lot of things lately that i used to take for granted. for example, every morning when i wake up i’m jumping with delight when i realize i can see my cat, spanky, in real life. this is compared to how i used to have to survive hugging him virtually through skype. i can’t say that i ever really took spanky for granted, but the last few weeks i just seriously can’t get over the fact that i can pick him up whenever i want now! he’s so fluffy, and probably so annoyed. in another category of things i never appreciated before i moved away are all of the great things that are sitting around my family’s house. our house was built in the mid 1800’s, and my extended family has lived here for about the last 50 years, so there are quite a lot of random old things scattered about from various decades.  the other day i was going through a kitchen drawer (that has always been there) and looked through some of the old cookbooks we have. they are gems! maybe it’s because i fell in love with madmen over the summer and now i’m smitten with all things vintage, but i feel so excited thinking about making some retro recipes. there was one crisco cookbook from 1959 that is really adorable, and really full of crisco-heavy recipes. did you know you can basically incorporate crisco into almost any recipe? i also found my grandma’s cookbook that is full of really beautiful handwriting and very old-fashioned recipes. now all i have to do is train my eyes to read the skinny cursive. this brings me to why i made peanut butter cookies, which i made with my mom. she received a better homes and gardens cookbook back in the eighties as a wedding present, and to this day she still makes a lot of recipes from this book. there are a lot of classic american recipes, but surprisingly there are lots of foreign dishes i recognized too. i guess i don’t need to search all that far when i’m ready to make stollen this christmas.

recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens: New Cookbook ca. 1984

ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

directions:

preheat oven to 375° F. stir together flour, soda, and salt. beat butter until light and fluffy. add peanut butter and both sugars, and beat again until fluffy. add egg and vanilla, and beat well. add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, and then beat till well combined. shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar, if desired. place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. crisscross the tops of the cookies with the tines of a fork. bake about 10 minutes. remove immediately and let cool on wire rack.

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