Monday, June 11, 2012

Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies

So, here's the problem with always looking through cooking blogs and cookbooks. You're minding your own business, glancing at a few new recipes and a couple old timers, and suddenly, a recipe or a picture jumps off the page at you and practically shouts at you to cook or bake it. Exaggeration? Not if you're me. Tonight, I found a new blog called Homesick Texan. It's filled with fabulous, authentic Texas dishes, and every so often, a random recipe that could be from Vermont as much as it's from Texas.

So, I'm scrolling through, drooling over pictures of Sopa de Lima, Brisket Tacos, Black-Eyed Pea and Chorizo Soup, when I come across a recipe for Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies. Let me state for the record that I'm not that big of a peanut butter cookie kind of girl. They tend to be dry, overly peanut-y for my taste and just don't jump out at me. But this recipe hearkened back to grandma's recipes and mom's recipes and other family recipes that don't just taste good, but conjure up memories associated with those flavors. If that wasn't enough to get my taste buds moving, one of the comments under the recipe (which was slightly different than my traditional Crisco PB cookie recipe, actually calling for a little less peanut butter) said something like, "there's nothing better than a warm peanut butter cookie and a cold glass of milk."

People, I didn't slowly get up and meander into the kitchen. I jumped up from my chair and ran (yes, ran - I have to burn off the calories that I will be shortly consuming) the 50 yards to my kitchen to make me some warm peanut butter cookies to have with a tall, cold glass of milk. And bake them I did. And consume them I did. I made them big, so I was going for just one, but, well, another one literally crawled onto my plate and I didn't want to hurt his feelings by putting him back. Note to self: extra 30 minutes at the gym tomorrow morning.

So here it is, another peanut butter cookie recipe. Is it the best one ever? Probably not, but it's pretty darn good, especially right out of the oven with a tall cold glass of milk. Beware - the batter looks crumbly. That's okay. It's supposed to.

Peanut butter crisscrosses via Homesick Texan
1/2 cup shortening or 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cream together the shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs and then blend in the peanut butter. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt until a smooth dough is formed. (If it’s a little sandy, that’s okay as the dough will come together when you form the cookies.)

3. Form the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Press the balls down with a fork making a crisscross pattern. Bake one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes. These are super soft when they come out of the oven and need time to harden a bit.

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