Monday, July 25, 2011
It’s only recently that I’ve wondered why peanut butter cookies have fork marks on them. I feel like it’s one of those traditions that gets passed down that we don’t always know where they came from. So I turned to the Internet. I Googled it.
According to Mental_Floss, pressing the dough down with a fork ensures that it cooks evenly since it’s a stiff dough. The marks also warn those with peanut allergies that the cookies contain peanut butter. The practice became popular in the 1930s when it appeared in a Pillsbury recipe, according to Wikipedia.
It’s a good thing I did my research. My niece and nephew both asked me why I was pressing the cookies with a fork before I baked them. And I had an answer.
My great-grandma’s recipe didn’t have any instructions, but I continued the tradition of the fork marks.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup plus 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter (I added in a little extra after tasting the batter)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
- In another bowl, beat butter until smooth.
- Beat sugars into butter until creamy.
- Beat in eggs.
- Beat in peanut butter.
- Beat in dry ingredients.
- Scoop batter onto cookie sheet and press down with fork in two directions.
- Bake 7 minutes at 375 degrees.
While, peanut butter cookies are delicious on their own, I decided to try a few different ways of adding a kick of chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?
Possible chocolate additions:
- Add chocolate chips to the batter.
- Cover half of a cookie in melted chocolate.
- Add a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup to the top of the cookies when you pull them out of the oven.
— Copy editor Nikki Overfelt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.