I had some of the best kitchen “learning experience” skills when I was in my high school Home Economics class. The lessons and skills I took away from that class, still hold with me today. I dedicate this “Chew This!” column to my Home Economics teacher, Nancy. Thank you Nancy for inspiring me, and continuing to inspire others.
These peanut butter cookies are the perfect, and only, recipe you will ever need for peanut butter cookies. The shortening allows the cookies a deliciously cracker exterior and moist interior. Everytime I make these, people go crazy! Try them below…
Home Economics Peanut Butter Cookies
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, February 7th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
We all start somewhere with recipes we remember…
I have fond memories of my junior high and high school Home Economics class. My teacher, Nancy, was a piece to the puzzle in the path I’ve created for myself that revolves around food. She was such a big influence on how I view food and how I view the important safety and health issues that go along with work in the kitchen. I have since connected with Nancy on Facebook, and I’m so glad I did. I have since gotten the chance to tell her, what great influence she had on my life since leaving her classes years ago, and how that influence has lead me to where I am today. I have also connected with some of my Home Economics classmates to discuss some of my “kitchen mishaps”. Erica, Renee, Whitney and I have laughed over some of the memories that I thought for sure they had forgotten. Memories like the time I used tablespoons instead of teaspoons when measuring out instant yeast for bread, creating such a “yeast monster” that the oven door literally blew open from all of the expansion. Or the time when I left the gas burner on, didn’t realize it, and about blew the school up. And let’s not mention when Renee announced to the class the incorrect way of how I was washing dishes…yikes!
It was all in good fun though, and some of the best learning experience I have ever received. Major props to Nancy for allowing (and putting up with) students getting and having hands on work in the kitchen, and in a safe environment where learning is fun. Just recently I was gifted the original copy of the cookbook Nancy put together for us to use in her classes. Recipes for French toast, best-ever muffins, pretzels, cinnamon rolls, puppy chow, cranberry orange bread, garlic cheese biscuits, Twinkie cake, Amish Friendship Bread and several recipes for cookies flooded my mind with memories. I had been testing peanut butter cookies, looking for something different, and decided to give Nancy’s recipe a try. It was beyond delicious and I knew immediately that this was the recipe I wanted to talk about and share with everyone.
Home Economics Peanut Butter Cookies
Don’t substitute butter for the vegetable shortening, you will not have the same taste or texture in these cookies. For a different spin, roll the cookies in Turbinado sugar, instead of white granulated sugar, for a crunchy-sweet texture. Also, if desired, place a Hershey’s Kiss candy in the center of each cookie, after the cookie has only had time to slightly cool. Shout out and special thanks to Nancy for allowing me to not only talk about her class and our memories, but for allowing me to share this recipe.
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup white granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup smooth peanut butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¾ cup white all-purpose flour
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the vegetable shortening, white granulated sugar, light brown sugar and smooth peanut butter until combined and creamy.
Next, add in the large egg, whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
Finally, stir in the salt, baking soda and white all-purpose flour.
Roll the dough into rough tablespoon size balls, and roll them in white granulated sugar, before placing them on the parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for exactly 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before removing. These will last several days at room temperature in a covered container.