Thursday, November 18, 2010

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

hatThe only problem that these cookies cause at our home, is who gets to put the "X's" on the top.  I usually end up giving in and letting my daughter, Paige, do it.  But, first not without a fight.  These cookies bake up wonderfully soft and sweet.  And their delicious aroma is found everywhere in our home for hours.  You can dress them up with sprinkled sugar on top or with some chocolate chips, but I personally prefer them as is.  Of course I have to have a nice icy cold glass of milk to go along with them.  But, that's a given.

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening (I use the sticks for an easy, mess-free, precise measurement)
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
4 T milk
1 T real vanilla extract
1 large egg (stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or so, then beaten)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 T sugar for garnish (optional)
1 small bag of chocolate chips (optional)

-Preheat oven to 375*.  In a large bowl combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer just until well blended.  Mix in beaten egg.  In a small bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir into peanut butter mixture in small batches, thoroughly combining before each new addition.  If using chocolate chips, fold them in at this point. Drop by small spoonfuls onto a baking stone.  Using a wet fork (keeps fork from sticking to dough), inprint top of each cookie with a cross-hatched pattern (this actually has a purpose, it presses them down into shape or else they would be too thick and cook unevenly).  If topping with sugar, sprinkle evenly on top of each cookie at this point.  Bake one sheet at a time for 10 minutes or so, watching not to over brown.  Makes 3 dozen.  Enjoy!

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