It’s National Peanut Butter Cookie Day (recipes below), and I have to say, peanut butter cookies are a favorite, bringing back special memories of my grandparents. My father’s parents grew up quite poor and lived in a small house in Heatonville, Missouri. I know, it sounds like a television show. The house was quite small to begin with and my grandfather expanded it with cinder blocks, covered with black tar paper. It may seem rough-and-ready, but, to me, it was normal. By the way, Heatonville is close to Mt. Vernon. Which is down the road from Joplin. Which is a couple of hour’s south of Kansas City – to put things in perspective – the middle of nowhere.
Peanut Butter Memories
They had a small garden and raised fruits and vegetables that grandma canned to tide them over during winter. Peanuts; however, weren’t on the crop list. So it meant saving money to purchase in the grocery store. And it wasn’t cheap. So peanut butter was an absolute luxury. When I stayed with them during the summer, one of my fondest memories was having a tablespoon of peanut butter, with a little sugar sprinkled over the top, at night before bed. Peanut butter cookies were a delightful treat, as well, especially during the Christmas holiday season. I asked why they didn’t grow them and they explained it was easier to buy.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
But how hard could it be? The man who discovered peanuts grew up right down the road, right? At least I thought he’d discovered them. There was a museum honoring his birthplace in Diamond, Missouri. Which is close to Carthage, down the road from Joplin – you get the picture. George Washington Carver was indeed born in southwest Missouri. But he didn’t discover the peanut. He was a former slave who became a scientist who researched new and different uses for peanuts. That, after an abundance of them grew as the result of his research into crop-rotation techniques that allow farming of nitrate-producing legumes, like peanuts, to alternate. This created an over abundance of the crop, which inspired George Washington Carver to research and create more than 325 different uses for peanuts, according to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, to which he was inducted in 1990.
So for National Peanut Butter Cookie Day, I salute both George Washington Carver and grandma – for taking such a tiny legume and turning it into a treasure. Now go make some magical cookies of your own!
Thanks grandma! Yes, these cookies are based on a family-favorite recipe, are unbelievably delicious, unbelievably easy to prepare, and did we mention gluten-free! Get her simple, but delicious recipe here. And please, don’t wait until Christmas to give them a try!
From Guest Contributor Michael Mech, The Bungalow Chef, these were originally created for Valentine’s Day, but I believe you can never go wrong with a peanut butter and chocolate combination – any day. Recipe here.
From Guest Contributor and cookbook author Holly Clegg, a recipe with 5 simple ingredients that create a dynamite peanut butter cookie! These cookies are for everyone, as they are diabetic-friendly and gluten-free, and still manage to have a rich and perfectly sweet flavor. Recipe here.
Need help mending a broken heart? Or just need a peanut butter cookie fix? This Heartbreak Peanut Butter Cookie, a take on the classic peanut butter, is actually half peanut butter and half chocolate chip – pity! Recipe here.
Happy Peanut Butter Cookie Day!