As you all know, I’ve had a great time recently cooking from my grandmother’s recipe book. So imagine my excitement when I got a package in the mail from Kimmie over at Full Circle with a wonderful hand-written note (rare in itself these days) AND a copy of her great grandmother’s recipe book full of Southern Louisiana classics. After seeing all the fun I’d had of late making my grandmother’s meatloaf and cherry snowballs, Kimmie assumed (correctly) that I would love to catch a glimpse of her family’s history as told through food.
As soon as I saw Southern Louisiana, I knew I’d be encountering a lot of dishes that involved sugar and more sugar with a side of Southern hospitality and I was right. In her note to me, Kimmie wrote “There is nothing fancy or cutting edge about these recipes and most are sure to you give you a heart attack but they were made with soul and love throughout many generations in the South.” Now I don’t know about you, but that’s simply deep-fried music to my ears.
I knew I had to start by baking great grandmother Verda’s Peanut Butter Crinkles. I’m not sure why I had to begin with this recipe, maybe because it called for white sugar and brown sugar or maybe it was the jam in the middle or maybe I could just sense this was a perfect cookie for eating amongst friends.
These Peanut Butter Crinkles are absolutely wonderful. They are soft and crumbly with the slightest crunch that is neutralized by the jam in the middle. Accompanied with a cup of tea, they are perfect for an afternoon of catching up with old friends or sharing stories with new friends.
Peanut Butter Crinkles (From the Kitchen of Verda Baker)
My comments are in italics
- 1 cup of margarine (I asked Kimmie why margarine was used rather than butter. Margarine was more commonly used because it was less expensive)
- 1 cup of peanut butter (I used chunky peanut butter. I figured it would give it some additional texture)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- nuts, chocolate kisses (I used walnuts and chocolate chips)
- jam or jelly (I used mainly strawberry jam, but I did experiment with fig jam and lemon jelly and all three complimented the peanut butter exceptionally well)
- In bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat first 6 ingredients until fluffy.
- At low speed, beat in next 3 ingredients.
- Shape into 1″ balls; roll in sugar. (Makes approximately 48 cookies)
- Place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake in 350F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until browned. (For me at least, 12 minutes was the perfect amount of time in the oven)
- Immediately press nuts or candies into cookies or press with thumb and fill with jam. (I put nuts in half of them and chocolate chips in the other half. As I mentioned earlier, I used mainly strawberry jam, but I’m convinced any jam would work wonders with these cookies, so experiment!)
Kimmie, thanks again for sharing your family’s treasure with me. Have a seat and let’s have a Peanut Butter Crinkle or three.