I recently got my hands on a copy of Toll House Tried and True Recipes, from the legendary Massachusetts restaurant that gave birth to the chocolate chip cookie. Written by Ruth Graves Wakefield, the owner credited with inventing the cookie back in 1937, the book is pretty extensive, covering not only appetizers, entrees, and desserts, but also making preserves and canning vegetables. True to 1940s fashion, it also has a “Primer for Brides” section, a short collection of recipes that all new housewives should know. Quite a time capsule!
Like pretty much every person in America, I’ve baked from the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Nestlé chocolate chip packages from the time I learned to read. And I’ve found few recipes that can rival it. So the day I got this cookbook in the mail I dove right in and tried their recipe for peanut butter cookies. Until then, my go-to had been this recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies. It had only 5 ingredients and I could make it in my sleep. Whereas the flourless cookies were crunchy, with the harder texture of peanut butter cookies sold at Chinese bakeries, these cookies were a bit softer and chewier. And so now I have two go-to recipes, depending on which texture I prefer on a given day.
One more thing. This recipe makes quite a few cookies, so feel free to halve it. I baked three trays’ worth before leaving town for Christmas and had to keep some dough refrigerated until I came back.
Toll House Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Add the eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla. Beat well. Add the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms.
- Take a heaping teapoon of dough and shape into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and press down with a fork, leaving criss-cross marks on top. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, checking at the 8 minute mark.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and cool.
Adapted from Toll House Tried and True Recipes (1948 edition) by Ruth Graves Wakefield
More peanut butter desserts:
- Peanut Butter Alfajores from Mississippi Kitchen
- Peanut Butter and Fleur de Sel Brownies from The Corner Kitchen
- Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
- Oreo and Peanut Butter Layered Baby Lattice Pies from Picky Palate
- Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Sandwiches from Erica’s Sweet Tooth