Peanut Butter Cookies

This one’s from Good Housekeeping’s Cookery Book, 1955 edition. I bought this in Oxfam, at the time mainly because it had some loose letters and handwritten recipes inside the front jacket, but over time it’s proved a fairly handy resource for basics. Me and Steve decided to make peanut butter cookies from it.

Peanut Butter Cookies

6oz self raising flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp powdered cinnamon

A good pinch of powdered cloves or spice

2oz peanut butter

1oz cooking fat

1-2oz sugar

1 egg

Milk to mix

Sieve the flour, salt and spices together in a basin. Add peanut butter and cooking fat, and rub in with the finger-tips until no lumps can be felt. Stir in the sugar, then add the beaten egg and enough milk to make a soft, dropping consistency. Half-fill greased patty tins with the mixture and sprinkle the top with a little sugar. Bake in a moderately hot oven for 15 minutes, until well-risen, golden-brown and firm to the touch. Cool on a rack.

The end product including anaemic one which was on a different shelf in the oven due to baking sheet space issues:

Observations etc

  • They’re really dull. Lacking in buttery-ness and sweetness, they’re almost savoury in taste, and the texture is boring and dry.
  • The spices are unnoticable.
  • We sieved some icing sugar on them to liven them up but it wasn’t that helpful.
  • The quantity of flour seemed disproportionate to the amounts of sugar and butter, hence my first point I guess!
  • I don’t have a ‘patty tin’ – we used a baking sheet .I don’t see that this would make much difference.
  • We should have made them flatter.


I suppose the recipe is a ok place to start from when making cookies, but it seriously needed more sugar and more peanut butter. As it is it’s not especially appealing. Some chocolate chips, or chopped pecans would be good in it I think. I’ve still managed to force two of them down myself these criticisms not withstanding…

Baked by Alix


3 responses to “Peanut Butter Cookies

  1. I bet the recipe would be greatly improved by the use of sugar-laden peanut butter a la U S of A. When I was a young girl my mom and I made PB cookies all the time, but when I struck out on my own I noticed that they never tasted quite the same as they did at home. It took me awhile to figure out that I was choosing “healthy” (i.e. natural) PB at the grocerteria and not the high octane stuff of my youth.

  2. vintagecooking

    Aha – so the PB is too wholesome. I had no idea US PB was sugary. It sounds lethal! This is from a UK cookbook though – I’d kind of assumed the paucity of ingredients was due to post-war attitudes and rationing. Who knows, eh?

  3. Science may dictate that the recipe be tried again with sugary PB, but who has time for science when there are other vintage recipes to attempt and enjoy?