Columns Saugatuck/Douglas Commercial Record

Maggie’s Pantry

By Maggie Conklin
Peanut Butter
During the Gulf War quite a few years ago, my friend Robin Sullivan and I made chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, then mailed them to a couple Boyce boys who were serving overseas. We vacuum-sealed, lovingly boxed and mailed them a strange-sounding armed services address.
A month or so later we received a thank-you note stating that, for the first time in their camp, cookies arrived unbroken! They also said they didn’t share the cookies with any of their fellow campmates, which was the best compliment.
I bought a church cookbook last year at a garage sale for a quarter. By the looks of it, it might have been printed in the late 1980s or early ‘90s.
Flipping through it the other day, I saw Mrs. Anne Kusic’s recipe for peanut butter cookies, which flooded back the memory mentioned above. I made them.
Preheat oven to 350°F.

¼ cup shortening
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Mix shortening, peanut butter, both sugars and egg thoroughly. Blend together flour, soda, baking powder and salt before stirring it into the creamed ingredients.
Chill. Roll into one-inch balls. Place three inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes until set but not hard. Makes two dozen.

I wondered why is said to chill the dough, so I did a quick online search. It stated the crisscross fork marks stay better if it’s chilled. My brother-in-law insists that peanut butter cookies are better when they have a proper crisscross decoration. Let’s do an experiment.
I made the dough as directed and baked half of it right away, while letting the other half chill for 30 minutes before baking. These are the differences noticed: the chilled cookies were thicker and more crumbly. Both are in the photo. Can you tell the difference?
I might substitute bacon grease for shortening next time.

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