One of my dear friends, George, is an airline pilot. He chose the perfect profession for his life’s work. He loves people and puts his airline’s customers first. I’ve seen how he interacts with every Tom, Dick, and Harriet in his everyday life. Cordial, respectful, friendly, funny, are just a few words that describe George. Meeting and greeting people and working as an airline pilot is the perfect job for his outgoing personality.
He has two “crash pads” (that’s pilot lingo) a condo in Davison, Michigan, and a place in Orlando, Florida. When he told me that he was going to spend all winter in Orlando I was sad that I wouldn’t see his smiling face as often, but also happy that he would spend September-May in sunny Florida away from the cold Michigan winter. To send him off on his flight back to Florida I made him some Classic Crosshatch Peanut Butter Cookies, which are his favorite.
I’ve made this peanut butter cookie recipe a lot of times and it has good flavor and texture and it’s super simple to make. This recipe can be found in Sur la Table’s edition of Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes. The book is chock-full of great comfort food recipes, but also includes a section on desserts that we remember Mom making us when we were kids: mile-high apple pie, strawberry shortcake, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, fudgy brownies, vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and George’s favorite: peanut butter cookies.
The evening before he left, he came over to pay me a visit to say goodbye and he left with a bag of peanut butter cookies that I baked just for him. He called me after he arrived home in Florida to tell me the cookies were delicious and they hit-the-spot on his flight back to Florida. George’s airline is fortunate to have him as a representative of the company. He loves his job and enjoys meeting the folks flying with him as he delivers them safely to their destinations.
Classic Crosshatch Peanut Butter Cookies (makes about 50 cookies)
Whether you like your peanut butter cookies made with chunky peanut butter or smooth, these classic cookies are rich and crumbly, perfect with a glass of milk. The peanut is actually a legume that grows underground. It made its debut at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 and has remained a beloved American food since then.
Position an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the butter, the brown sugar, and the ½ cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Using a mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Turn up the speed to medium and beat for another minute. The mixture should be blended and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well-blended. Add the peanut butter and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Put the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and beat on low speed just until the dough is smooth and no patches of flour are visible. Scrape down the bowl one last time, and make sure no clumps of flour are hiding in the bottom.
Use an ice cream scoop to shape the dough into cookies. You can also shape the dough by measuring out 1 level tablespoon for each cookie, and then rolling the dough between your palms into a ball. Space the balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Use a fork to press down firmly on top of each ball once in each direction, to form a crisscross pattern. Place a baking sheet on each oven rack. Bake for 5 minutes, then switch the pans between the oven racks. Bake for another 6 to 7 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges. Transfer the pans to the cooling racks and let the cookies cool completely. You may need to reuse the pans to finish baking all the cookies. Let the pans cool before you put more dough on them for baking. Store the cookies in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag for up to 5 days