The first time I made these cookies, my first daughter had just been born. As I type this she is a beautiful, forward-moving nineteen year old young woman, and I couldn’t even guess how many batches of this recipe I have baked between then and now.
When she was a baby, my Grandpa used to call me all the time, sometimes every day, to see how I was managing and could he tell me how to do something? (I wasn’t much older then than she is now. Yikes!) Yes, of course, I always wanted to hear from him! Grandpa Stubbs is one of the most knowledgeable people in my life, and he has always been funny and sweet and eager to share everything with us. Especially cooking and gardening secrets. He was also a traveling and telephone salesman throughout his career, so he knows how to get your attention. Well, one day he called excitedly to tell me all about the best peanut butter cookies in the world. Either he had just discovered this magic or he had just remembered it to share; it’s hard to say.
“Honey, I know you’ve eaten peanut butter cookies before. I am sure they’re good. But you have never and I mean never had cookies like this. Now I want to tell you how to make them, but it’s complicated, ok? And you might need to write down the recipe, are you ready? Okay. There are lots of ingredients. Don’t forget! They are all very important. Ready?”
“Almost ready Grandpa!” I vividly recall holding my daughter as she nursed, unwinding the long corkscrew phone cord, and finding an envelope to write on. “Okay go.” Even then I loved collecting food and cooking ideas.
“Okay you need some peanut butter. You need some sugar. And you need an egg. Do you have those things?” Looking back, these spontaneous recipe phone calls might have been his and Grandma’s way of monitoring how well I was eating. I catch myself texting such questions to my daughter now. Wait, wasn’t she a tiny nursing baby just a few minutes ago?
“Yep, I have all of that Grandpa, are you sure that’s all I need?” This scored me a deep belly laugh from him, because of course I was obnoxious enough to audit his recipe.
“Yes, honey that’s all you need. One of each. One cup of sugar, one cup of peanut butter, and one egg. That’s it!” Then he laughed again, generously, like he had told me the best joke ever. We laughed together. I love him so much.
Well suffice it to say that I made Grandpa’s recipe that day and fell in love with its heftiness and easy prep. My girls both ate them almost weekly throughout their childhood. And it is probably Handsome’s favorite cookie, too, among many beloved recipes. It’s so reliable, so fast and easy, and so filling!
Here is how it goes:
See how basic the ingredients are? It’s rare that you wouldn’t have them on hand, right? I know.
Just mix up the first four items until you have a smoothish, glossy, well glued-together dough. I have developed an aversion to electric mixers lately and just use a wooden spoon. You do what you fancy. Once it’s a dough, just scoop out a ping-pong ball sized hunk at a time (maybe less) and roll it around in your hands until it is a pretty symmetrical sphere. Then roll that in a little shallow tray of sugar and arrange on a cookie sheet.
I have been using parchment paper liner these days, but it’s not absolutely necessary as long as you watch the baking time closely to prevent the sugar from burning. Also, since this recipe does not contain any soda, the cookies hold their shape. So you can really cram them on the baking sheet and get a lot cooked at once!
When your dough is all sphered-up and arranged neatly on your baking sheets, use a plain fork dipped in sugar to criss-cross the traditional waffle pattern on each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. These cookies don’t really change appearance that much, aside from losing their glossiness. If they turn dark brown, they are ruined. FYI.
And that is it! Cool for a bit on a wire rack. They are excellent with ice-cold milk. Great with an apple for a quick, energizing lunch. Packs really well for road trips or freezer keeping (as if).
Now tell me something your grandpa has taught you! Or tell me your favorite cookie recipe! Or what have you been doing regularly ever since your babies were babies? I would love to hear.
Thanks for stopping in, friends. Have the very best weekend.
What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance.
They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life.
And, most importantly, cookies.