December 4th is National Cookie Day, and it's the perfect opportunity to whip up a batch of the peanut butter ones with the criss-cross marks like Grandma used to make.

As a kid growing up in rural Nebraska, almost every time I went to Grandma's house a half mile down the gravel road, she would be making something that smelled good.  If it wasn't cinnamon rolls it was an apple pie, and it seemed like there was always a row of something warm and sweet cooling on the kitchen counter.

Everything was homemade too.  Grandma would roll her eyes and giggle at the thought of store-bought cookies, and couldn't figure out why in the world anyone would buy cookies in a see-through plastic box when we could whip some out on the cheap with an hour's worth of work and they made the house smell good too.  The kitchen was her happy place.  She put her thumbprint in the pie crusts and the criss-cross fork marks on the peanut butter cookies, and the more uneven and imperfect it was the better it seemed to taste.  She took her time with every detail and knew how to be in the moment.  And I want to be more like Grandma.

Her peanut butter cookie recipe is not much different from others floating around the internet, and it could be similar to the ones that the stores use in their bakeries.  I tried to make them once and they turned out flatter and more crispy than Grandma's, even though I used the same recipe.  Grandma's cookies are always better.  But with today being National Cookie Day, it's a good time to give it another go.

Grandma's Peanut Butter Cookies

2 sticks of butter

1 cup of peanut butter

1 cup of white sugar

1 cup of brown sugar

2 eggs

2 and 1/2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2  teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars together in a bowl; then beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and stir that into butter mixture. Let the dough chill for an hour in the refrigerator.  Roll the dough into balls and put them on a cookie pan.  Flatten each ball with a fork to make the crisscross marks.  Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.

Grandma is 98 now and doesn't make cookies anymore, so I'm going to do it today on her behalf.  National Cookie Day will be full of sales and freebies at stores and cookie shops, but cranking some out in our own kitchens is a pretty cool idea too, with a little extra elbow oomph in those criss-cross marks just like Grandma would do.


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