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Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve made some “fancy” cookies the last few times and my husband was lamenting that I never make any “regular” cookies. So this week I made one his favorites, the Peanut Butter Cookie. An oldie but a goodie.

When ever I make classic American anything I always turn to my beloved Fanny Farmer cookbook where this recipe comes from. It’s worn and the pages are falling out, but I love it. Every recipe in there works exactly like it says it will, and turns out tasty each time. From pancakes to apple pie to fried chicken, you’ll find all the mainstays of the kitchen in Fannie’s cookbook with detailed instructions that guarantee success. There are also great chapters on canning, jam making and pickling. Add this book to your collection. First published in 1896, it’s been updated several times. You can find the most current copy at many on line book sellers.

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

1 cup shortening

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup peanut butter

3 cups flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. Cream together shortening, vanilla and sugars. Add the eggs and beat well. Stir in peanut butter. Mix together flour, salt and baking soda then add the peanut butter mixture. Combine thoroughly. Form into tiny balls with palm of hands. Place on cookie sheet. Press each cookie twice with back of fork to make crisscross design. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

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5 Responses to Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

    • I checked my cookbook, and it says it makes 50 -60 cookies. I do remember that it makes quite a lot. I did get a new copy of Fanny Farmer. I have all the pages again!

      • Well I just found that out! I got 60 cookies out of that batch and they are everything I remembered them to be. The recipe is a keeper. I’m going to dip 1/3 of the cookies half way in some dark semi-sweet chocolate. It’s going to be very tempting tonight to not eat ’em up! Thanks Colleen.

  1. Further, I’d like to second you on that old, stained, worn out and torn Fannie Farmer Cookbook. My mom gave it to me 44 years ago and I think I’ve tried most of the recipes in it. It is true that every single thing you make from that book comes out perfectly. In my estimation, it’s still the best cookbook out there. These peanut butter cookies are the best — the texture is what is most amazing and that’s because it’s made the old-fashioned way — with shortening. Same way the best sugar cookies are made. Thanks for including the recipe. I used that page in my cookbook so many times I can barely read the ingredients, I printed your recipe and attached it to the old page.

  2. I’m 68. When I got married in 1964, my mother gave me a Fannie Farmer Cookbook. It was my bible in the kitchen because I didn’t have any idea how to cook. I knew how to make bread because mom made bread every single day, but aside from that, I didn’t even know the right way to boil water. Fannie Farmer taught me everything and today if I have to say so myself, I’m an incredible cook. There are many recipes that I still turn to in this book, 1) the Norwegian Butter Cookies, not sure of the title, but you need a cookie press and the dough is made with hard boiled egg yolks — best butter cookie recipe ever; 2) the Walnut Brownies that you make from scratch — outstanding, chewy, decadent; and 3) Peanut Butter Cookies — these are the best, bar none. I have tried so many recipes and none have the texture or the taste of the ones in Fannie Farmer’s cookbook. It’s an excellent book, and it will teach you how to do everything. My first attempt making Fried Chicken was a huge success and I followed her directions exactly. So many recipes today have reviews that I have to laugh at. The recipe is printed and the reviews say something like: “I give this 5 stars, it was delicious! I substituted Smart Balance for the butter, and I used Almond Extract instead of vanilla, and I put in less sugar, and only 1 egg, blah, blah, blah . . . ” At that point it isn’t even the same recipe so you can’t trust the ratings.

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