There was one main recipe book used in our household as I was growing up – an edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook which, if I remember correctly was given to my Mum as a wedding present and which I eagerly accepted when she offered it to me – now tattered and stained with evidence of much use – a couple of years ago. That cookbook, along with my Mum’s never-fail, go-to sponge recipe, introduced me to a love of measuring ingredients by volume, in cups, rather than by weight – a love that has been unfailing for my lazy self, despite the fact that weight measurements are more accurate and yield more consistent results. In the pages of that Fannie Farmer Cookbook are three biscuit recipes which I would say were the defining biscuits of my childhood – recipes for Sugar Cookies and Rich Cookies, which I and my siblings made regularly right from when we could measure ingredients by ourselves and be trusted to man the oven alone, and a recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies, which my Mum made frequently. This recipe is an adaption of Peanut Butter Cookie recipe (the original recipe is on page 437 of the 1965 edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, if you’re interested). The cup measurements below are all based on a 250 ml mug equalling one cup, and, depending on the size of your cookies, this makes about 20 to 25 cookies.
What you’ll need:
1/3 cup butter or margarine (use butter for richer cookies)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy peanut butter for these but either crunchy or smooth will work)
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour
What to do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180º C or 350º F).
2. Cream together the butter or margarine, peanut butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
3. Beat the egg and vanilla extract, into the butter/peanut butter and sugar mixture.
4. Sift the flour and salt into the mixing bowl and then fold the flour and salt into the butter/peanut butter/sugar/egg mixture.
5. Place teaspoonfuls of the mixture on a greased or lined baking tray, about an inch apart and then flatten each spoonful with the back of a floured fork.
6. Bake the cookies in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place each cookies on a cooling rack to cool before eating (sorry – I have no photos of this final bit as J whisked away the camera to take photos of baby S before I had a chance to stop him…).