Friday was the last day of school for two of my grandsons and included a kindergarten graduation and presentation of the play, Little Red Hen. To celebrate, my granddaughter decided it would be fun to make a batch of cookies to share with all the family.
I had not realized that I had never put my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe on the computer, so we pulled out a wonderful piece of family history, a church cookbook from 1936. Inside the covers are some added recipes, some in the distinctive handwriting of my Grandma K and the others likely to be her mother's careful script. As we explored the cookbook's pages and looked at the old fashioned directions, I was glad we had an excuse to go to "the original source" and talk a little about family history as we stirred and baked.
Eleanor made note of the adjustments we had added and carefully copied our updated version on to another old-fashioned media, a 3 X 5 index card. This was added to a cookbook the kids are putting together of things they have made at Grandma's house. How wonderful to think that that recipe that may well have started out in the 19th century might still be making kids happy well into the 21st.
Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
2/3 c crunchy peanut butter (smooth may be substituted)
1/2 c butter, softened but not melted
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar, packed
3 T cold coffee
approximately 3 to 3 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
3/4 c miniature chocolate chips
1. Cream the peanut butter, butter, white and brown sugar. When thoroughly mixed, stir in the eggs and coffee.
2. Sift about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture and combine thoroughly.
3. Stir in the chocolate chips and blend. Add enough more flour to make a soft dough that can be formed into balls without being sticky.
4. Roll into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving lots of room between the cookies. (Eleanor's card includes this note: "Warning! Cookies spread!) Then press each cookie down with a fork in a criss-cross fashion,
Instead of using a fork, flatten the cookies slightly with a glass and then use a fork, knife or other utensil to make letter impressions. For our family, she made some Ss, Xs, Es, and As and discovered the straight letters were much easier than the curves. As you may be able to see in the photo, these letters were not too legible after baking, but they were clear enough that each of the kids were able to pick out their "own."
5. Bake at 350 degrees about 10 to 13 minutes.
If you make the balls about the size of a ping pong ball or slightly smaller, you should have about 30 to 36 cookies that will be around 3 inches across when baked.