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Peanut butter cookies

December 12, 2010

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This was a cookie-baking weekend if ever there was one. We were under a blizzard warning, and although we only wound up getting a few inches of snow, the wind blew like crazy, with wind chills around 25 below zero. Before the wicked weather blew in, we got the cattle fed and watered, and the tank heater hooked up for them. We went and saw Santa, stopped at the co-op for a few last-minute groceries, and headed home to hibernate. Church was even cancelled on Sunday, so we got to spend the whole weekend together in our little cozy house, which was great.

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I told my husband I’d bake anything he wanted. He wanted simple peanut butter cookies. Easy enough! Sometimes the easy, simple things are best, and these sure hit the spot. I doubled the recipe, and made half of the big batch without chocolate chips, and half with. He likes his plain, and I will add chocolate to anything if given the chance. I used the basic peanut butter cookie recipe out of my old reliable Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, which I got as a wedding gift 13 years ago, well before I went to work for Meredith Corporation. I still use it all the time!

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Here’s the regular recipe, before doubling:

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1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar or 1/4 cup honey (I used brown sugar)

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

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In a mixing bowl, beat margarine and peanut butter with a hand mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of the flour, the sugars, egg, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour. If desired, stir in chocolate chips or chopped peanuts.

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Shape dough into 1-inch balls. I used my mini ice cream scoop, which was the perfect size and made quick work of the dough. If you’d like, roll balls in additional sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and criss-cross with a fork to flatten a bit.

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Bake at 375 degrees F. for 9 to 11 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

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You can also use this recipe to make chocolate kiss blossoms. Prepare as above, except do not flatten with a fork before baking. Immediately after taking the cookies out of the oven, press 1 chocolate kiss into each cookie.

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