When Mom would bake a batch of her peanut butter cookies, the whole neighborhood would flock to the house. Now she boxes them up and sends them to the grandkids.
I wonder if the post office workers can smell the deliciousness inside that plain brown box. I doubt it, because the alluring aroma would surely have them breaking the package open for a nibble.
I have such fond memories of baking these cookies alongside my mom, mixing and stirring and getting to lick a spoonful of peanut butter while the cookies baked. Then, when my girls were young, this is one of the recipes I used to teach them how to bake.
Even though they get their "midterm" box of Grandma Gayle's peanut butter cookies, they both have the recipe and bake them for their friends.
It's like she is still baking for a whole group of kids, even though we now live in different cities.
If you have kids or, like me, are just a kid at heart, surely you'll agree that Mom's peanut butter cookies are the best!
If you'd like to share a childhood recipe that has been passed down, email me the recipe (no attachments, please) at email@example.com. I'll pick a few to share around the holidays.
GRANDMA GAYLE'S PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
Start to finish: 45 minutes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour (plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more as needed)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add all other ingredients and blend thoroughly. Add additional flour (1 teaspoon at a time) if dough is not stiff enough (it should be stiff, but not dry).
Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten each cookie with the tines of floured fork, making a crosshatch on each cookie.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly brown. Cool slightly on cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies
Approximate values per cookie: 82 calories (48 percent from fat), 4.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 12.5 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g dietary fiber, 87 mg sodium.
Alicia Ross is the co-author of "Desperation Dinners!" (Workman, 1997), "Desperation Entertaining!" (Workman, 2002) and "Cheap. Fast. Good!" (Workman, 2006). Contact her at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the Kitchen Scoop website at www.kitchenscoop.com.