A Recipe with a Special History
This is a classic recipe for old-fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies, but it has an even more special meaning for me than just a recipe for delicious comfort food cookies.
I started to learn to cook at the tender age of six years old. My pop was my teacher.
His mother had taught him to cook, do laundry, iron, and even how to sew on buttons when he was a child, because she felt that anyone who ate needed to know how to cook, and anyone who wore clothes should know how to take care of them, regardless of gender. It was a very progressive opinion for someone to hold in the 1920s.
So he carried on that tradition with me, starting me off young with simple things such as scrambled eggs, box mixes, and a few other basics.
Then when I hit seven years old, he gave me my very first cookbook which would become the first in an extensive library of cookbooks I've collected over the years. That cookbook was the Better Homes & Gardens Junior Cookbook.
By then I was already preparing meat loaf from my own recipe, vegetables, and buttercream frosting to put on cakes I'd made from mixes. I could do an entire meal by myself as long as I had the ingredients on hand. But it was nice to get my very own cookbook with new types of recipes to try.
As you can see, the book has been well-used over the years as I still go back to it for a few treasured recipes. And it reminds me of my pop too which is even more valuable to me than the recipes this book contains.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine flour, soda, and salt in a small bowl.
In a medium bowl, cream together shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar. Add egg and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla and peanut butter.
Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, a bit at a time. Dough will be very stiff.
Form dough into small balls with your hands. (Hint: I use a one tablespoon size ice cream scoop to form the balls. It's much less of a mess and the cookies will come out the same size.) Place balls on baking sheet, allowing space for them to spread slightly during baking, then flatten each one in a criss-cross pattern a with fork.
Bake for about 10 minutes. Yield approximately 2 ½ dozen cookies, depending on cookie size.