Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chatters! or, Peanut Butter Cookies

Summer is upon us at A Book of Cookrye! And do you know what that means? More classes! That's right, we at A Book of Cookrye will be spending these lovely sunny days inside with textbooks and muttering to ourselves that no one in their right mind would go outside in the middle of all the heat anyway. Besides- cookies!

½ c peanut butter
½ c butter
½ c brown sugar
½ c white sugar
1 egg
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1¼ c flour

Put peanut butter and butter in a bowl. Add sugars, beat thoroughly. Beat in egg. When all is mixed, add the soda, salt, and baking powder. Mix well, then stir in the flour. Put in the refrigerator for a few hours.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 375° and grease a cookie sheet. Roll into small balls, and roll these in sugar. Flatten them with a fork once they're on the pan. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Source: "La Mesa" in Confidential Chat, Boston Globe, 1963; via Something from the Oven, Laura Shapiro, 2005

This is the first recipe for peanut butter cookies we at A Book of Cookrye have ever seen that didn't come off the side of a shortening can. Instead, it comes out of an old newspaper. The Boston Globe had a section on the women's page called the Confidential Chat where readers could pseudonymously ask questions, give advice, etc, etc. Someone using the name La Mesa sent in this recipe with no introduction or even a title, leaving one to think that "Chatters" (most letters start with "Chatters," or "Dear chatters" or something like that) is the recipe name.
This is how we simultaneously measure half a cup each of peanut butter and butter.

The point is, we at A Book of Cookrye wanted to celebrate actually getting some sleep. Therefore, sugar-peanut butter sludge.
Peanut butter is theoretically a great source of protein.

We at A Book of Cookrye like to pretend peanut butter cookies are healthy. Peanuts are good for you, right? Granted, peanut butter has enough sugar dumped into it that it's about as healthy as Nutella. (I don't care how many happy moms and bowls of hazelnuts they show on Nutella commercials, it's spreadable candy and not the healthy snack they allege it to be. That said, the only reason we at A Book of Cookrye never buy it is because we snarf the whole jar at once.)
Does that look like half a teaspoon to you?

At any rate, this made only one pan of cookies with a little bit left over. It's actually kind of nice having a cookie recipe that makes just a couple dozen- you're not forced to devote a good piece of your night to pulling pans in and out of the oven.

We at A Book of Cookrye baked them for the shortest time given in the recipe because chewy soft cookies! They ended up looking kind of like I made a pan of dried-out riverbed.

All right, maybe they look more like it close up.
The cookie drought was a terrible time for all of us.

While at first it was disappointing to not have separate cookies, we decided we liked them this way! You've got the crunchy corner cookies, the kinda crispy edge cookies, and the really soft center cookies.

These are so good I may or may not have already made another batch. Also, because there was a little blob of dough left over that wasn't worth the bother of getting out a pan and turning on the oven, this happened:
Heck yes.

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