It’s almost Thanksgiving, Poetry Friday fans. That means baking season is upon us. At our house, Mr. S is the cook. Baking – that’s my job.
I’m not usually adventurous when it comes to baking. However, when chili-infused dark chocolate bars hit the market, so did some kitchen inspiration. I came up with a spicy version of traditional peanut butter cookies. After a few test batches, I had a winner — a cookie that my family loves. Mr. S, who is a fan of all things spicy, says these cookies are addictive. (Recipe below.)
This year, I got brave and entered my cookies in the Baltimore Sun’s annual holiday cookie contest. They made the first cut, but were not selected to appear in the paper. However, I’m not crying into my cookie dough. It was fun to take a chance on something that was creative, but not writing-related.
Since it’s Poetry Friday, I went searching for a poem to pair with the recipe and came across Edwin Romond’s wonderful “Peanut Butter Cookies” at Your Daily Poem. And since I’m reading Nikki Grimes book of Golden Shovel poems, ONE LAST WORD: WISDOM FROM THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE, I thought I’d attempt a Peanut Butter Cookie Golden Shovel poem. I also made this poem an acrostic. You’ll find both Edwin Romond’s poem and my Golden Shovel after the recipe.
My version is regional, using two beloved Baltimore ingredients. I’ll include a standard option for those of you out of state who want to give these treats a try.
½ cup butter
½ cup chunky peanut butter (I use Smart Balance)
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup crushed Utz potato chips, divided use (place between 2 paper towels, crush with rolling pin)
Standard option: Use potato chips of your choice
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
Standard option: Chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons crushed potato chips
1/2 – 1 teaspoon Old Bay or chili powder
Pre-heat oven to 375. Grease 2-3 cookie sheets.
- Cream the butter and peanut butter.
- Cream in brown sugar, then beat in egg.
- Sift the flour and salt. Stir in with 2/3 cup of the crushed potato chips.
Dough will be stiff.
- Roll into balls. (I use a heaping tablespoon.)
- Roll the balls in the coating.
- Place about an inch apart on the cookie sheet. Press down on the top of each cookie with a fork, making a criss-cross design.
- Bake 9-12 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Delicious eaten warm!
Let’s wash down those cookies with some poetry.
Peanut Butter Cookies
By Edwin Romond
My mother made them from memory
giving me my own memory of winter
in our kitchen, the salty aroma
of peanut butter cookies from the oven,
and the torture of waiting for them to cool
on the window sill overlooking Albert St.
in the Eisenhower 50s of my childhood.
I remember her mixing brown sugar,
butter, and spoons of Skippy. She never
checked a cookbook and they tasted
like no other cookies tasted. “I just know,”
she’d say if I asked her how she did this
then she’d wrap them in foil and sing
along with Perry Como on our radio.
They were as special as she was, a quiet
woman who took small joys in life
around the house. I know she knew
how much those cookies meant to me
for years later she apologized, as if
it were her fault, when a stroke at 80
erased the recipe from her mind.
Read the rest of the poem here. Have a tissue ready.
Golden Shovel: Cookie Acrostic
By Laura Shovan
Come to me, my
Oven-baked delight, mother
Of all comfort treats, home-made
Kick of sugar. My teeth — feel them
Inch along your edges, savoring bites from
Every crumble, until you’re a delicious memory.