Farm Journal’s best-ever cookies, 280pp.
by Patricia A Ward
Farm Journal, Philadelphia, 1980
Cooking on page 32
I bought this gem second-hand just a few years after it came out. The $8.50 I spent on it has saved me money for years because it’s my go-to book for all things to do with cookies.
Being a Farm Journal cookbook, it is filled with tried-and-true recipes from farm kitchens across the USA. There are state and county fair winners, bake-sale favourites and secret recipes from grandmas.
The chapters cover shortcut cookies, nutritious treats, lunch-box specials, budget options, holiday favourites, special occasions and more. I think I’ve cooked from every single chapter, plus I’ve written friends’ cherished recipes on the inside covers.
Crunchy peanut butter cookies
3 c. sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. chunky peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
Cream together shortening, sugar and brown sugar in bowl until light and fluffy, using electric mixer at medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add peanut butter and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Gradually stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture, mixing well. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls about 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheets. Flatten each with floured tines of a fork in a crisscross pattern.
Bake in 400° over 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets; cook on racks. Makes about 5 1/2 dozen.
How it played out
Made as written using butter as the shortening. Oh, and I was a couple of tablespoons short of the full cup of white sugar. No one noticed.
I must have made slightly larger balls because I got 54 cookies rather than the predicted 66.
Farm Journal has come up trumps again. So if you’ve been looking for a sensational recipe for peanut butter cookies, this is it.
I’ll make these again soon—after I exercise off some of the calories I ‘gathered’ from the first batch.
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