Learning about food, photography, and writing. Sharing what I find.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"For those who dote on Peanut Butter Cookies . . . "

Today's title is a direct quotation from the instructions of my latest creation found in Joy of Cooking, 1974 Edition:

 I decided to give other editions of Joy a chance (mostly because I don't have the 1976 version anywhere close at hand right now). That introduction to the preparation of these cookies was reason enough for me to try them out. I'm glad I did.

Most good bakers I know have tried-and-true Peanut Butter Cookie recipes under their belts. I have a couple to pick from that I know are delicious, but I wanted to try something new for my edification and your benefit. I also wanted something pretty basic, and I knew I could count on the Joy of Cooking to provide simplicity (I wasn't feeling especially gourmet last night). I was actually feeling so grumpy that I flat-out told my husband that I wasn't going to take any pictures. Humphhh! He graciously offered to be the photographer instead, as long as I would go retrieve the camera. I whined for a few seconds, but finally grabbed the camera and, in the end, he accomplished all of the following:
  1. Helped cheer me up.
  2. Took loads of "stock" photos for the eventual expansion of this site.
  3. And even got me geared up to take some of my own shots of the preparation. 
It helps that he also took on some of the more tedious parts of the recipe: sifting, pan-greasing, dough-ball-making, fork-pressing, etc. God Bless Penn (for those who may not know, I'm not blessing a university or a state here . . . my husband's name is Penn)! Needless to say, some of the following photos were taken by my creative husband, the inspiration for my making Peanut Butter Cookies in the first place!

I hope you enjoy Crankiness-Squelching Peanut Butter Crumble Cookies (The elements of this recipe are taken directly from Joy of Cooking, 1974 Edition, page 658, "Cookies and Bars" section):

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter (I used extra chunky, but creamy would be really good, too)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups sifted flour (Sift before measuring . . . Believe me, it makes a massive difference)
1/2 tsp. vanilla (Am I the only one who always intentionally over-flows the measurement of vanilla??)

Sift Brown Sugar and Granulated Sugar together (Weird, huh? It's actually kinda hard because the white sugar falls right through the holes and the brown sugar won't go through without the application of major force. I recommend putting as-fresh-as-possible brown sugar down first, then adding the white sugar, and sifting twice to ensure mixed-ness).
Beat Butter in mixer until soft (I love the look of creamed butter).

Add the sugars gradually and blend these ingredients until creamy.
Add the Egg and beat until fully incorporated.

Beat in the full cup of Peanut Butter.

Mix in the Salt and Baking Soda.

 Sift and then measure the Flour.

Add the flour slowly to the batter along with the Vanilla. Mix well until a (gorgeous) manageable dough forms.

Roll the dough into small balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Press them flat with a fork, as illustrated on page 656 (totally useless to you, but see below for technique).

**This is where I added chocolate chips to the top of 1/2 of them to meet my chocolate quota for the day. Omit if you prefer the cookie plain.

Bake for about 7-9 minutes, or until they have a very light, golden edge (Cooking on the longer end of this range ensures a crisp, crumbly cookie. If you prefer a little bit of chew to them, you have to literally undercook these babies).

Remove directly to a cooling rack and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Then, just try not to eat all of them in one sitting.
**These are definitely drink-accompanied cookies. Try them with lots of milk, coffee, or tea to heighten your experience! They are calling to you . . .


  1. OH! You have raised the aesthetics of cookie making more than a notch, G&P! Beautiful photos, AND I love the fact that they are "crankiness squelching"--not insignificant quality!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I grew up with this very recipe (and remember the line about "for those who dote..." and was looking online for the recipe as I DO dote!
    Anyway I found to my horror the new Joy of Cooking has a totally different recipe - see link below - with wayyyy less peanutbutter (only 2/3 cup for the recipe given but the other ingredients are doubled). Scandalous. Thanks for printing the original and best here :-)

  3. Lauren, so glad to provide your childhood recipe for you! Now I *really* want to make these again...

  4. my mother had many cookbooks but as a young girl learning to bake the Joy of Cooking is the one I reached for and actually found your recipe looking up the phrase that was my mantra finding this recipe.
    And I ALWAYS overflow the vanilla too. ;~)

  5. The Joy of Cooking has taught me so much, too. Pancakes, apple pie, peanut butter cookies ... the list goes on! Glad to know I'm not the only vanilla addict. :)

  6. The Joy of Cooking 1976 has been my favorite cookbook for my 46 years of marriage! I love the information contained in this great book and I would never make any other peanut butter cookie than the original!!

  7. wow i would like to say im making the cookies right now and at 350 for 7 mins and there great my grandchildern are going to love them they melt in your mouth thank you