Monday, January 21, 2013

Peanuts are Plants Too

I know what Baby will say about this: Ma! If you want to write about food start a food blog.

But a peanut is a plant, oui? And I don't grow everything I write about. I also buy both plants and peanuts in the supermarket. It's all interrelated. And I like these peanut cookies, even if I nearly choked to death on a bit of one last night as The Prince instructed: Arms over head! Arms over head!

He always says that when I choke to death and it never works. Get me some damn water.

But that is neither here nor there.  And I have nothing else to write about today so peanut cookies it is.

Wikipedia says (you needn't bother to read this, I didn't):  "The peanut, or groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), is a species in the legume or "bean" family (Fabaceae). The peanut was probably first domesticated and cultivated in the valleys of Paraguay.[1] It is an annual herbaceous plant growing 30 to 50 cm (1.0 to 1.6 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, pinnate with four leaflets (two opposite pairs; no terminal leaflet), each leaflet is 1 to 7 cm (⅜ to 2¾ in) long and 1 to 3 cm (⅜ to 1 inch) broad."

Resume reading. 

I like these cookies because they take about ten minutes to whip together and another ten in the oven and they're done. You might have noticed that most cookies require some hours rest in the fridge.

Hours of rest? Really? When I want a cookie I want a cookie, now.

For these you just mix the batter and toss spoonfuls (spoonsful?) on a baking sheet. It happens to be a very tasty batter too, which is why I usually get involved in baking -- that sudden and insistent hunger for batter, preferably scraped out of a bowl with my finger while leaning over the sink (which means it has no calories). 

I can also make half a batch, roll the other half into a lumpy log, wrap it, and freeze it.

There are various reasons for freezing half, actually two: If I don't, the two of us will probably finish all of the cookies at a sitting; and I can whip out the second half, slice it into rounds and bake them in the unlikely event that someone pops by for tea.  

I think the tea thought because of my Aunt Ann who used to do just that, and it was like an amazing parlor trick. Growing up in New York, surrounded by shops tendering sublime pastries and breads, I didn't think baking was something one could actually do at home. I also didn't know that a veal was not an animal until I was 25, but that is neither here nor there.


1 stick softened butter**
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup salted peanuts (like Planter's)

Preheat oven to 350

Cream the butter and sugars, add the vanilla and egg, beat well. Add the flour and baking powder and then the peanuts. Blend well.

Drop by the tablespoon on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes. 

**If your butter isn't softened, like mine never is -- see batter craving -- cut it into pats, it'll soften up quickly enough in the mixer.

*Next time, Jill's walnut and mushroom pate, a ringer for chopped liver! Walnuts and mushrooms are plant material, right? While chicken livers? That's too much of a stretch, even for me.


  1. I can testify that these are mighty good cookies.

  2. That's why drop cookies are ever so much more convenient!

    A-a-a-a-and now I want a warm cookie.


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