Did you know June 12 is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day? In the baking and pastry arts, this dessert is an American staple. According to the National Peanut Board, peanut butter is consumed in 94 percent of American households, so it’s no surprise this cookie is so common. In fact, each year Americans eat enough peanut butter to make 10 billion PB&J sandwiches. While peanut allergies have become somewhat more common, this treat continues to be a hit at parties and potlucks.
Peanut butter cookies were first made in the early 1900s, shortly after peanut butter became a widely used product. There are several legends as to why these treats have the signature forked crosshatching that makes them easily identifiable. The most likely reason for these distinguishing marks is so that peanut butter cookies cook more evenly. Since peanut butter makes the cookie dough dense, a regularly rolled ball would likely not cook through. The crosshatching flattens out the cookie, allowing the edges to crisp while the center stays soft and chewy.
It’s also widely speculated that the crosshatching serves the practical purpose of making peanut butter cookies identifiable to those with allergies. Since this dessert has a similar look to a sugar cookie, the fork marks heed warning to anyone suffering from a peanut allergy.
Peanut butter cookies recipe
Along with chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles, peanut butter cookies are a great baked good for beginners. Here is a simple recipe for peanut butter cookies courtesy of the Food Network Kitchen:
- 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup additional to roll cookies
- 1 stick of softened butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups flour
Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Mix together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat the egg into the mixture, then add the peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add salt, baking soda and flour. Once all of the ingredients have been well mixed, roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the dough in the additional 1/4 cup of sugar. Place on the baking sheet and flatten with a fork in a crosshatching pattern. Bake 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack or stovetop and then enjoy.
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