Sunday, May 8, 2011

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

In celebration of Mother's Day, I baked up some delicious peanut butter cookies, one of my Mom's favorites! There were a handful of things that we would bake up as a family when I was growing up and I remember distinctly making peanut butter cookies with her. I think this was most memorable because of the criss-cross pattern you got to make with a fork- any kid's favorite part. Either way, she's a big peanut butter fan and since I didn't see much of a challenge in freezing a bag of fun-size snicker's bars for her, I decided to whip up a batch of these. Sadly, she lives in Upstate New York and I am currently living in Alabama... so I'll have to enjoy these for her! haha just kidding- I'm going to freeze them and bring them up to her when I go to visit in a few weeks. If I was smart, I would have thought ahead and mailed them, but that's okay, I'm sure she will still appreciate the gesture. I would have loved to have used the same recipe that we used when I was a kid, but I think it's one of those things that wasn't really kept track of. Although these cookies were very good, the texture differed a lot from what I remember. I recall them being kind of crisp and these were rather chewy. I think the difference lies maybe in the shortening used in this recipe, versus butter that my Mom would use. I know for sure that these cookies are particularly chewy because of the addition of milk. If your looking for a chewy cookie, you want the dough to be moist. Now, I am not saying that these weren't a good peanut butter cookie, they were great, especially if you don't like hard, crisp cookies. However, they really didn't hit a note reminiscently with me. Ya know what though? I bet my Mom will still eat them haha. So! In conclusion, I love you Mom and I can't wait to see you in a couple weeks : ) ... and bring you lots of cookies! haha could you really expect anything less from me?

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
Yield: about 3 Dozen

1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 Tb milk
1 Tb vanilla extract
1 egg
granulated sugar for rolling cookies, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking sheet.

2. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in small bowl; set aside. Combine peanut butter, shortening and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla; beat until well combined. Scrape down bowl and beater then add egg. Again, beat until well blended then scrape down sides and beater. Bring speed to low and add flour mixture and blend until just combined.

3. Put the sugar in a small bowl. Scoop a tablespoonful of dough and roll into a ball between palms of your hand. Roll the dough in the sugar and place on the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart (If freezing, do not roll in sugar). Dip the time of a fork into the sugar (flour, if freezing) and make a criss-cross pattern on the cookies, flattening them slightly.

4. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool two minutes on baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack.

Storing: Store these cookies in an airtight container for about a week. You can also freeze these cookies for about 3 months.

Note: I always place my cookie dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before scooping. That helps ensure a nice shape and even rising.

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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