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lili@delightfulpalate.net

Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies

Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookie Sandwich

Just after my youngest sister entered into kindergarten, my mother decided to enroll in night classes at Technical Community College in order to become a librarian. I looked forward to the twice a week adventure of accompany my father to pick her up from class.

I’d rush to the car, jump in the back seat, nestle down on to the floor and hide, draped under my father’s London Fog trench coat. We parked the car by the two-story college building and I would peek my head out from the corner of the trench coat

Rolling the dough in sugar crystals to ensure a crunchy exterior

Creating hatch marks for a criss cross pattern in the cookie

The peanut butter filling

THe mini chocolate morsels and chopped peanuts to roll the sides of the sandwich cookies in.

Just after my youngest sister entered into kindergarten, my mother decided to enrollin night classes at Technical Community College in order to become a librarian. I looked forward to the twice a week adventure of accompany my father to pick her up from class.

I’d rush to the car, jump in the back seat, nestle down on to the floor and hide, draped under my father’s London Fog trench coat. We parked the car by the two-story college building and I would peek my head out from the corner of the trench coat to stare through the window and wait. I needed to spot my mother’s legs coming down the stairs of the building so as to correctly time my pop-up surprise from the back seat. As the course continued, I did this over and over again. Why it never dawned on me that my pop-up appearance could still surprise her as she so graciously pretended it did. 

We were a one-car family and my father acted as chauffeur; I often went with Daddy to pick Mamma up from the job as one of the librarians at Central State Hospital. She would tell us about her day and more often than not she had these horrid stories of an elderly co-worker named Miss Nelly, a petite elderly woman that wore a tightly rolled shampoo and set hairstyle, who made my mother’s life a living hell.

She was one of those bitter-busy body state workers and she made me tired. 

Only two bright spots came out of that library, one was a pastel artist receiving treatment. He and my mother became friends and she commissioned him to create portraits of her six daughters. All six, hung in descending order of age down the stairway in our house. The second was the “Settlement Cookbook” Published in 1903; this was the original "way to a man's heart".  The Settlement house was a mission house for poor immigrants in Milwaukee. The cookbook was created from the cooking classes that were used to help Americanize the family and educate immigrants on nutrition. Mother checked it out of her library and it included the most incredible recipe for Peanut butter criss - cross cookies, which we would make together frequently. Rolling the dough in sugar before making the hatch cross marks on them with a fork to get a crunchy exterior for that peanut butter-buttery cookie. I was hooked and continue to delight in the fact that I never returned that cookbook. 

Mother would tell me “do not complain die unto your self and join in and offer up your sufferings to Jesus as he suffered for you”. Miss Nelly sure tested her on her own philosophy and we were rewarded with blessed cookies. 

I gave this recipe a face-lift in one of my cooking classes by turning it into a sandwich cookie with a peanut butter filling and rolling the sides in mini chocolate morsels and chopped peanuts.Happy Valentines Day! Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies