Great Grandma Bessie's Peanut Butter Cookies

When I first got married I asked my mother if she would turn loose of the church cookbook that I learned to cook with. She said NO. Not the lowercase kind of no, but the capital letter you'll have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers kind of no. She's pretty attached to it and no amount of badgering would get her to part with it. I tried my hardest, but you know how mothers are when they have their minds made up. Hi Mom!

While she did say no, she did take the time to scan the whole thing for me so I could continue to make my favorite cookies. It's no secret among my friends and family that I love peanut butter cookies and in my mind nothing will ever measure up to this cookie recipe. It was one of the first cookies I learned how to make and year after year it continues to be my most requested holiday cookie.

As my grandmother noted on her copy of this recipe, these cookies are a favorite with all kids from 2 to 102. Although she never got the chance to make them for me, she passed away when I was six months old, she was absolutely correct. These will always remain one of my favorites and I hope that they will soon become one of yours.


Peanut Butter Cookies

makes approximately 2 dozen cookies


½ cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ cups all-purpose white flour 


  • Cream together shortening and peanut butter. Gradually add brown sugar, white sugar, and egg.
  • In a sifter add salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour. Slowly add to the creamed mixture.
  • Roll dough into 1 inch balls, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and make "railroad tracks" on the tops with a fork.
  • Put cookies in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour before baking. This will help them hold their shape better.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F and transfer cookies straight from the fridge to the oven. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until cookies are a very light golden brown.

Recipe Inspiration:

This recipe belonged to my Great Grandma Bessie. It was also published in the St. Louis Memorial Boulevard Christian Church Cookbook: Our Favorite Recipes, a collection by the Topnotcher Class.