Friday, June 1, 2018

June 12 is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day

June 12 is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. Most people are familiar with peanut butter for use on sandwiches, while peanut butter cookies are yummy snacks that can be enjoyed any time but especially on Peanut Butter Cookie Day. The ancient Aztecs and Incas made a paste by mashing roasted peanuts, and that was the first known peanut butter. Peanut butter cookies have been popular since the early 1900s, and in 1913 the wife of the 28th US President, Woodrow Wilson, published a list of her cookie recipes including one for Peanut Cookies that used peanut butter. In 1916, George Washington Carver began promoting the peanut and its many uses. As part of the campaign, he published three peanut butter cookie recipes in a research bulletin entitled, “How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption.” Celebrate Peanut Butter Cookie Day by baking your own cookies using a traditional recipe – make sure to put traditional crisscross fork marks on top – then enjoy eating them with friends and family.

The first time that these fork marks were widely instructed to be placed on the cookie tops was in a recipe from a 1936 Pillsbury cookbook. There was no explanation given in the recipe as to why the fork hash marks were called for, but people made them anyways. Now, most people who bake these cookies put the hash marks on them out of pure tradition without knowing why they are even doing it. Maybe it’s because it’s simply more fun to make old fashioned peanut butter cookies! Probably the most common reason specified for the marks on the cookies is because it’s supposed to help them cook more evenly. When peanut butter is added to cookie dough it makes it denser, which in turn makes it harder to bake through. Putting the hash marks in the cookie dough balls actually flattens them for more even baking. When the cookies bake, they should come out soft with crispy edges where the hash marks have been formed. Most people agree that the best peanut butter cookies are the ones with a soft center and crispy edge. This cookie was thought to have been given fork marks to warn people who are sensitive to nuts what they are about to eat. Since the marks are such a unique cookie feature, it is a great reminder of the ingredients.

Why not make this yummy recipe?

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag Hershey Kisses
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs. Add white and brown sugar. Sift dry ingredients and stir in. Add shortening, peanut butter and vanilla.
Roll into balls the size of walnuts and put on greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are golden brown.
Remove from oven and immediately press one Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie and remove cookies from baking sheet to cooling rack.