There are five distinct things I remember most about staying with my grandparents or when they came to visit, and they’re all food related.
1. Chocolate chip cookies. My Nona swears by the Toll House recipe, but to this day I have yet to recreate the texture of her cookies. It’s truly a miracle. It’s crumbly, but fluffy, and soaks up milk so good it makes an Oreo jealous.
2. Peanut butter cookies. These were my mom’s favorite, and I think also my Papa’s. These were just a wee bit chewy with a buttery texture and just absolutely perfect.
3. Giant bowls of elbow macaroni with butter and cheese. Because I was picky and wouldn’t eat anything else. But no one can make a bowl of noodles, cheese, and butter like my grandmother.
4. Angel food cake with ice cream. Another stand by. It was at every holiday gathering and her slices were bigger than your face. Every kid’s dream.
5. Ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream. I’m pretty certain that whenever we came to visit my grandfather used it as the perfect excuse to buy 3 gallons of ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup for him, knowing that there was only so much 5 children under 10 could really eat and all the rest would be his.
A few years ago, when I was really getting into baking my grandmother sent me a few of her recipes. I think I may have asked for some as well. She sent me a typed sheet from a type writer, the snipped out back of a Toll House chocolate chips bag, and this lonely hand written recipe.
Every year or so, right around this time, I crave peanut butter. I’m not sure why, but browsing the other bloggers I’m clearly not alone. I was on the hunt for the perfect peanut butter cookie. I tried three recipes, another one to be featured on here soon, but is it really any surprise that my favorite is the one I grew up eating?
I don’t know what Nona will have to say when I tell her I swapped out the shortening for real butter, but I’m pretty sure she won’t really care. I think what amused me most about this recipe, was that it calls for “moist peanut butter.” I suppose when she wrote this down there must have been other options. But I find it humorous nonetheless.
Anyhoodle, if you want a great classic peanut butter cookie with a slight chewy center and a crisp edge, look no further. I have answered your prayers. I’ll let Nona know you loved them.
*Just a Note: I use Jif peanut butter, none of this fancy organic, stir it or you’ll regret it stuff. Also, I use creamy. Let’s be real, unless you’re making a sandwich you have no business putting crunchy peanut butter in anything, and even the sandwich is debatable.
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1¼ cups flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Heat oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, 2-4 minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl and add the egg and vanilla, beating just until combined. The mixture may look broken, but don't fret!
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add to the butter and sugar mixture in two additions, beating just until no streaks remain. Try not to over beat/mix the batter or you will have very crumbly, dry cookies.
- Roll the dough in heaping tablespoons and place 12 to a sheet.
- Press the tines of a fork into the top of each ball to make a grid pattern.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Let cool slightly on the pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.