My pair of Pillsbury cookbooks from the early 1960s could constitute a fully formed blog in themselves. I’ve really only looked into them in the past to laugh at the jellied salad recipes, but I’ve been trying to expand my biscuit repertoire lately and these books are a treasure trove. For my American readership, your cookies are our biscuits. Your biscuits are, well, who knows, we definitely don’t eat that kind of thing here and certainly not with chitlins.
I’m working out of the Pillsbury Family cookbook today, and I’m going to make Peanut Butter Cookies. I’m ignoring the blandishments of the more imaginatively titled Holiday Riches, Cherry Winks, Cinnamon Dandies and Starlight Mint-Surprise Cookies, and am going for something that may kill one of my children’s fellow students if they breathe on them inappropriately, I like to walk on the wild side. It may be for this reason that my children have discouraged me from trying this recipe whenever I suggest it, but they’re at school so what are they going to do?
Cream together 160 grams of butter with half a cup of peanut butter. I’m using that freshly ground peanut butter from the health food shop. That stuff has some fascinating rheological properties that would interest the chaps studying particulate flow at the Department of Theoretical Chemistry, but possibly not you, so I won’t go on about it. Any peanut butter would do, really. Beat in a cup of brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Actually the resulting bowl of deliciousness would work very well as the filling in some kind of roll. Mental note for another day.
Mix in an egg. Add a cup and a half of plain flour, a teaspoon and a half of baking powder and about five turns of the salt grinder. Mix it in good. I’m going to quote now. “Shape dough into balls, using a rounded teaspoon for each. Place on ungreased cookie sheets”. Not me, I’m a firm believer in baking paper. “Flatten balls with fork tines, crisscross fashion. Bake at 375 degrees for ten to twelve minutes”. Of course, in SI units that’s 453 Kelvin, but that’s not much use to you either, so let’s go with 180 degrees Celsius.
I tried baking one sheet for ten minutes, or until just golden, and one for twenty minutes, or until well browned. I think the kids will prefer the slightly chewy just golden version, but the man of the house will choose the crunchy ones then sigh that they’re not gingernuts. See, I did do the crisscross, that kind of low level decoration I can do.