When I was a young girl, I would be asked to load up our Red Flyer wagon with a few of my younger brothers and sisters and spend the afternoon with them at the park. You see, I was the oldest girl in a family of 8 children. My mom would wash clothes, make meals, and tidy up the house, while I took care of the younger children in the family. It wasn’t unusual for me to have 5 little ones with me as I kept them occupied at the neighborhood park for a good portion of the day.
On one of my trips down the block, Mrs. Nolan, an elderly woman that lived in the corner house, opened her door and asked if we would like one of her freshly baked peanut butter cookies. Mrs. Nolan was a friend of the family so accepting a cookie would be no problem. After a few cookies and a glass of cold milk, we were on our way again.
On our next trip to the park, one of the children jumped out of the wagon at Mrs Nolan’s house and asked if we could go to see, “the cookie lady”. From then on, Mrs. Nolan was known as “the cookie lady” and we stopped nearly every day to visit her. She even had her husband assemble a small picnic table for us to sit at in her beautiful backyard, while she brought out cookies and milk.
As I think about my happy, innocent childhood, I remember a lovely women that spent her later years making 6 young children very happy as she fed us and talked with us under the shade of the oak trees in her welcoming backyard on Center Street.
Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies
2 cups peanut butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Extra sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, stir peanut butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Roll dough into 1 inch balls (or scoop out dough with a small ice cream scoop) and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Press a cross into the cookie tops using the tines of a fork. Lightly sprinkle with extra sugar.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.