This Peanut Butter Cookies recipe comes from my Mom's hometown, Hambleton, WV. Mom's neighbor, Mrs. Penny, gave her this recipe a long time ago. Mrs. Penny didn't share her recipes with just anyone, so Mom felt very honored that the recipe was shared with her. Mrs. Penny's husband was a soldier in WWI, so knowing that is a good indicator as to just how long this recipe has been around. I have seen this recipe elsewhere, so it isn't a "secret" recipe anymore. 🙂
This recipe is my favorite homemade cookie recipe. I love the rich peanut butter flavor. The recipe doesn't require too many ingredients and none of the ingredients are dairy ingredients, so that makes this a dairy-free cookie - perfect for Jeff! He loves peanut butter, too!
Back when Mrs. Penny was making these cookies, people in town didn't have any electric mixers. So, cookies were made by stirring with spoons, or by digging in with your hands. I prefer to make this recipe by digging in with my hands. You could use a mixer, if your prefer.
My Mom wanted to make these cookies with me shortly before she passed away. I learned something new! Mom always sifted the flour and sugars. When I made these cookies previously, I didn't sift the flour and sugars. The advantage of sifting breaks up any clumps that may have formed which gives you a lighter and fluffier cookie. Sometimes with brown sugar there are little hard clumps that don't always dissolve, sifting eliminates those little clumps. Any clumps that don't break up during sifting can be discarded. My cookies were always good without sifting the flour and sugars, so, if you don't feel like sifting, the cookies will still be good.
When baking the cookies, you can remove them from the oven just as they are starting to brown, which will give you softer cookies, or leave them in a little longer until they are more brown for a crunchier cookie. Both are equally as good. Jeff likes the cookies softer. Mom liked them more crunchy. I like them both ways. I usually do both, just to mix it up a little! lol
These cookies are almost always baked around Christmas in my family. They make good gifts! I make them a few times during the year, too. Since they are dairy-free, they are a good cookie to have on hand for Jeff.
The Peanut Butter Cookies freeze well, too. Sometimes, I will double the recipe and freeze at least half so that there are lots of cookies in the freezer.
My Mom liked to eat these cookies by making a cheese sandwich with them. She would take one cookie, then a thick slice of Colby Longhorn Cheese, then another cookie, and enjoy her sandwich! I will sometimes have Colby Longhorn cheese with the cookies, but I don't make a sandwich.
I prefer to use extra crunchy peanut butter when I make these cookies. Mom usually made them with creamy peanut butter. Since I made these cookies at her house, we used creamy peanut butter this time. Both are equally as good. Using extra crunchy peanut butter will give you little bits of peanuts in your cookies. So, if you prefer little bits of peanuts, go with extra crunchy peanut butter. If you don't like little bits of peanuts, creamy peanut butter is for you!
I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as my family and I do!