When I was in high school, my mom worked in the cafeteria. It was great. If my sister or I needed money during the day, Mom was right there. We never had to worry about lunch money - she paid for our lunches when we went through the line.
She sometimes got to bring home leftover hamburgers. And buttered bagels. Those were so delicious. The bagels were buttered and then put into foil bags and placed under heating elements. The butter would melt into the bagel and the edges would get hard and crunchy.
So buttery. So delicious. So not good for you.
The other thing Mom came home with was the recipe for peanut butter cookies.
Oh. The peanut butter cookies. We used to buy lunches based on these cookies. They came in wax bags - two cookies in each bag. We ate them as slowly as we could to make them last longer.
So soft. So crumbly. They literally melted in your mouth.
I try to make these cookies whenever I get together with high school friends. The smiles on their faces when they take that first bite. The soft "hmmmmms" as they hum while they eat. These cookies are the best.
Thirty-five years later and they are just as good as when we were seventeen.
Peanut Butter Cookies (makes about two cookie tins full)
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup boiling hot water
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the peanut butter and cream together. Add the vanilla and cream together.
Add the flour to the creamed mixture a little at a time, alternating flour and some boiling hot water. I try to do it in three steps - flour, water, flour, water, flour, water. When completely mixed together, roll into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Press with back of fork. Bake at 350 for 10-14 minutes.