This one’s a dud, full disclosure

8 Jan

If you’ve been following my cooking through my cookbooks journey, you already know I’m not fond of baking. For some reason – yeah, yeah, I know about human error but I try to be precise when I bake – yet I have more failures than successes. Like today’s recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Encyclopedia of Cooking, Volume 12, PAR to POP, (1971).  Love these “encyclopedias!” I picked them up over the years at various bookstores but never quite completed the entire set. I am missing four volumes! They proved to be very useful when I was writing food articles for the Kansas City Star decades ago. And yes, I still refer to them occasionally. This recipe popped out for a couple of reasons – love peanut butter, we had several jars of peanut butter on hand and – I had everything else I needed to make them in my pantry already!

First batch spread and looked more like sand dollars than cookies. Second batch (after I refrigerated them overnight) wasn’t much better, although the edges browned improving their look. But let’s be clear, they don’t look like the picture in the book! They are supposed to be puffy and resemble mini hand-held pies. These babies clearly do not.

Couple of reasons why I think they didn’t turn out as expected. I used natural peanut butter which is runnier. Two, I followed the directions as written to cut shortening and peanut butter – using a pastry cutter (something many of you are probably unfamiliar with!). While I’m not sure I recommend this recipe, if you’re game, use regular Jiffy or Skippy Creamy Butter, and combine all of the ingredients in bowl with an electric mixer (stand or hand) and process just until ingredients come together. Refrigerate overnight.

And don’t come back here and tell me they were awful. You’ve been warned.

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

1½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup shortening

½ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup light corn syrup

1 tablespoon milk

Peanut butter

Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in shortening and the ½ cup peanut butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in light corn syrup and milk. Shape into a 2-inch roll (wrap in waxed paper); chill. Slice 1/8 to ¼-inch thick. Place half the slices on an ungreased cooking sheet. Spread each with ½ teaspoon peanut butter. Cover with remaining slices, seal edges with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool slightly; remove from sheet.

Makes two dozen.

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