Gourmet peanut butter cookies are delicious, but where did they come from?
Since ancient times, people have enjoyed nuts in their cookies. In old times they would bake small cakes with crushed nuts in them. The Romans spread this type of treat through Europe. These ancient cakes were not like the cookies that we enjoy today.
In medieval times bakers started using white sugar and their cookies more resembled the ones we eat today, but these did not include peanuts. They included other nuts that were known to them at the time. It would take many years before the peanut arrived in Europe.
The peanut is believed to have originated in South America approximately 3,000 years ago. This is supported by the fact that ancient jars featured decorations of peanuts and ancient graves contained jars of peanuts for their journey to the afterlife. When the Spanish arrived at the New World, they appreciated the peanut and bought it back to Europe. From there, it spread around the world.
Peanuts were first turned into butter at the turn of the 19th century. It was a doctor doctor concocted peanut butter as a health food. Now it could find its way into delicious cookies!
It was sometime during the 1920s or 1930s that it first showed up in cookie recipes. Many believe it was a Pilsbury cookbook that taught us to make peanut butter balls, and them smash them into cookies using a fork. This is thought to be due to the higher density of the dough. Since then people have been enjoying peanut butter cookies of all kinds.
The pinnacle today is the gourmet peanut butter cookie. They can be loaded with all types of extras. Our cookies include chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.