I’m a big fan of nostalgia.
I had a pretty kick-ass childhood (thanks, Mom & Dad!) so when something reminds me of being a kid again, that’s always a good thing.
Until I was about five years old, we lived in a trailer park on the outskirts of town. My mom calls those “the dark years” but I have nothing but great memories of my trailer park life. Well, except for that one time our trailer park was hit by a tornado. That’s when my mom was like, yo, guys, we’re outta here. Let’s go find a house with a basement.
So my parents scraped together every penny they had and bought a nice little split-level house in a newly developed residential neighborhood in a small town in central Minnesota called Sauk Rapids. And that’s house I lived in until I headed off to college.
It was a small house for a family of four – particularly considering only the upper level was finished for much of my childhood. So my sister and I shared a room, which was actually really awesome because every day was like a sleepover with one of my best friends. (Even if that best friend was a huge pain in the butt sometimes. I mean, she WAS my little sister, after all.)
In the Sauk Rapids house, I remember my dad being responsible for making many of my favorite dinners. Except when he made things like round steak Italiano. Gross. I don’t know if it was just too mature for my kid palate or what, but I absolutely hated round steak Italiano. But now that I look at it, it actually looks really good. I just may have to try it again one of these days to see if my opinion has changed.
While I generally preferred my dad’s dinners, I loooved my mom’s desserts and baked goods. She made the best cookies, only rivaled by my grandma’s. Snickerdoodles, Christmas cookies, and of course the old childhood standby – peanut butter cookies.
Sometimes, you just really start jonesin’ for an old-school peanut butter cookie that reminds you of what it was like being 10 years old. Like today, for example.
So let’s do this, shall we?
How to make awesome easy peanut butter cookies
1. Add the wet ingredients (and sugars) to a bowl, and mix until the ingredients are all well incorporated.
2. Once that’s all mixed, add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir until it looks something like this:
3. Throw some plastic wrap on top, and stick it in the fridge for an hour and a half or so. Like so: (Also, yes that’s really what’s in my fridge right now. It’s fun to peek inside of strangers’ refrigerators, isn’t it?)
4. Roll the dough into balls about one inch in diameter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. A-somethin’ a-like-a dis:
5. Dunk a fork in some sugar and make some hashmarks on top of these babies. It’s kind of like a hashtag, but with more lines.
6. Bake! And bask in the glory of the amazing peanut butter cookies that are about to bring you back to childhood.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup peanut butter either chunky or creamy will work! I had creamy on hand so that's what I used
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 5 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- extra sugar for making the fancy fork crosshatch on top of the cookies
In a large bowl, add sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, butter & egg. Mix together until well combined I used the paddle attachment on my Kitchenaid Mixer, but you can mix it by hand too. Once that concoction is well incorporated, stir in the rest of the ingredients. Just a helpful hint: If you're using the mixer, add the flour a little at a time so you don't end up with a dusty, floury mess on your hands!
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator for 90 minutes to chill.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Form the chilled dough into 1" balls, using about 1 heaping tablespoon of dough per ball. Place the balls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Dip a fork in a small bowl of sugar and press the fork into the top of each cookie, forming a crosshatch. (It's like a cookie hashtag!)
Bake for about 12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are golden brown. Cool on a rack.