Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Cookies

When I was making these cookies, while I was pressing in the obligatory indents on each cookie, I wondered why I did so. It’s almost like a silent rule. You make peanut butter cookies, you indent the cookies with a fork.

Once I thought about it, I realised this was probably a method of letting others know that it is a peanut based cookie, for those with allergies. A quick google search raised more questions than answers. Apparently, no one actually knows why they have indents. A cookbook way back in 1936 instructed the baker to press with a fork, without any explanations, and it has been done that way ever since. Others say it was simply to flatten the cookies and create a larger surface area to produce a crispier product. One particularly special theorist believes it has religious undertones...
Regardless of the correct answer, it did get me thinking about allergies. Food allergies must be hard. I have a mild intolerance to dairy. Mild in that it only effects me if I drink a milkshake or eat a block of cheese in one sitting (don’t judge). I couldn’t even imagine how hard it would be to live with bad food allergies on a daily basis.

A few weeks ago I saw a documentary on TV about food allergies and research in the US. It bought me to tears just thinking of the constant worrying and thinking of having kids with allergies and how it can so drastically change their life. Watch it here.

I’ve also just finished a major assignment on Celiac Disease (no wheat, rye or barley) which is just horrendous. Wheat is literally in the majority of foods. It changes everything about who you are and what you can do.

For the rest of us, we simply take advantage of the fact that we can go to dinner and order anything off the menu, or have a slice of cake at the office party, or not have to think about what you’re putting in your body. For the most part anyway.
Anyway, such an impact these had on me, that every time I ate one of these little cookies I raised my hat to those with allergies. I don’t know how you do it. Big love.

120g butter

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup peanut butter


1 1/4 cup plain flour

1tsp baking powder


Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and mix until well combined.

Add the peanut butter and a dash of vanilla and mix well.

Fold in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt.

Roll into balls, of about 2tsp of mixture and line on a tray. They can be fairly close together as they don’t spread too much.
Make criss-cross pattern with fork.  Dip the fork in flour to avoid it sticking.

Cook 8-10 minutes until set, but not hard. Do not overbake.
Leave on baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

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