At the Butbars’, there is just a lot of cooking. When the trip to town is an hour total, and you crave a cookie, you make a cookie. That’s how it works. So cooking has been on my mind even more than ever before, if you can believe that. Watching all my friends raise their children, cultivating their tastes and food memories, I’ve been thinking in particular about the foods I ate as a kid. So here’s a new segment in Hello Goodbye: recipes with history. Tonight we have the very first recipe that ever appeared in my life.
It went like this. My mom’s mom, Goggie, told me, after probably much begging, she would teach me how to cook. I was five. Maybe four? Mom, you’ll remember better than me probably. Anyway, Goggie went so far as to turn on the oven, and I never even noticed that we didn’t use it.
This is a candy recipe, probably the sweetest candy you will ever, ever eat. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to make this a little less sweet, or at least a little more healthy, but for now, here it is, in its pure, crack-related form.
Peanut Butter Rolls
I have no measurements for this. It’s cooking by look and feel, and it’s good for you. Go with it.
- Lay some butter out on a counter several hours before (or seconds before, if you have a microwave) so it can soften.
- Dump a bunch of powdered sugar in a bowl.
- Mix small amounts of butter into the powdered sugar until a workable dough forms.
- Lay waxed paper out and put the dough on top.
- Roll out the dough as thin as possible. Trust me, you want the at least a one-to-one ratio here or your teeth will fall OUT.
- Spread peanut butter on top of the dough. You could use crunchy (obviously) or smooth. Almond or sunflower or whatever other fancy butter you have is acceptable, though it will change the name.
- Using the waxed paper to get started, roll the dough up, then wrap it in the waxed paper.
- Pop the whole thing in the freezer for a couple of hours, then take it out, slice and serve. With milk. Or Bourbon. Something to cut the sweetness. Like an ax.
This is an old – maybe Southern? – recipe, and I remember aunts or cousins or other women of some unclear relation bringing it to holidays, and their versions had boiled potatoes in the dough, which I considered – and still do – pretty unpleasant. But now, as I look at a recipe made of butter, sugar and peanut butter, I realize why potatoes might not be such a bad addition, nutritionally at least. I wonder if I could think of something better.
In the meantime, here’s to the woman who first got me cooking. Night, Goggie.