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Cookie lovers and peanut butter lovers unite to celebrate National Peanut Butter Cookie Day on June 12! The key ingredients of peanut butter cookies are peanut butter, sugar, and eggs — and in their simplest form, that’s all that you’ll need. Peanut butter cookies are incredibly easy to make, and if you’re a peanut butter lover, they always hit the spot. Read on for more ways to celebrate one of the most popular cookies ever!
History of National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
We don’t know for sure when peanuts were first harvested, but evidence dating back 3,500 years ago indicates that ancient Incans of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings. The peanut likely originated somewhere around modern-day Peru or Brazil, potentially growing as far north as Mexico, and was spread by European explorers. These Europeans likely brought peanuts to Africa and Asia, and it was eventually Africans who brought peanuts to North America in the 1700s.
In America, and particularly the South, peanut production took off. It was around the 1800s that peanuts became a commercial crop in the U.S., and demand for the product was high. Not only were they a great food, but they could also be used as oil or as a cocoa substitute. They were, however, challenging to raise and harvest, and mostly were only consumed by farm animals or those in poverty. That is until Union soldiers decided they liked them and found they were high in protein.
The early 1900s saw the destruction of cotton crops at the hands of the boll weevil, which threatened the livelihood of many farmers. Dr. George Washington Carver, a well-known scientist at the time, suggested many plantations switch to planting peanuts, which caused peanuts to be almost as popular of a crop as cotton in the South.
Determining who invented peanut butter, however, is a different beast. There’s evidence that the ancient Incas ground peanuts to make a primitive sort of peanut butter, though Dr. John Harvey Kellog is credited with creating the first peanut butter in the United States in 1895. There’s also some credit given for the invention of peanut butter to a physician from Saint Louis, who needed a way for his patients who were too old or sick to chew meat to get protein. After peanut butter’s introduction at the World’s Fair in 1904, however, it took off.
Dr. George Washington Carver included a recipe for peanut butter in his 1916 book on growing peanuts and preparing them to be eaten, and in 1922 Joseph Rosefield improved on the recipe by developing a way to prevent peanut oil from separating from the solids. Peanut butter had hit stores in 1920, and already peanut butter cookies were being homemade across America. In 1932, the first recipe for peanut butter cookies that featured the decoration with forks on top was printed in “The Schenectady Gazette,” and the peanut butter cookie had become the classic treat we know today.
National Peanut Butter Cookie Day FAQs
Is December 4 National Cookie Day?
National Cookie Day is celebrated on December 4.
Why do we criss cross peanut butter cookies?
Peanut butter cookie dough is one tough cookie! (pun intended). As they are denser than regular cookie dough, the hash marks make them more level for baking.
Is there a National Brownie Day?
December 8 is National Brownie Day.
How to Observe National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
Whip up some peanut butter cookies
Recipes for peanut butter cookies range from being classified as ‘health foods’ to being mostly sugar and butter. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a recipe for that! Take some time in the kitchen and surprise your family or friends with a fresh-out-of-the-oven batch.
Buy some peanut butter cookies
From Nutter Butter to Keebler to Grandma’s, there are many baked goods brands that have well-loved peanut butter cookies. If baking isn’t your jam, pick up a pack to share with your family today.
Cook with friends or kids
Whether you’re passing on a cherished family recipe to your kids, or just rounding up your roommates so you aren’t baking alone, joy in the kitchen is always best shared! Trust us, peanut butter cookies taste so much better when it’s fun to make them, too.
5 Fun Facts About Peanut Butter
Astronauts eat peanut butter with tortillas
Because bread has too many crumbs for a zero-gravity environment, astronauts who love peanut butter enjoy it on a tortilla!
‘Peanut Butter Patties’ are one of the best-selling Girl Scout Cookies
‘Tagalongs’ or ‘Peanut Butter Patties’ are usually the runner-up or third-bestselling cookie of the Girl Scouts.
There are big peanut butter spenders
$800 million is spent yearly in America just on peanut butter!
A kitchen staple
According to one survey, it’s estimated that ¾ of the houses in America have at least one jar of peanut butter in their home.
Stars love peanut butter just like us
According to Skippy Peanut Butter, over 30 celebrities (including Jerry Seinfeld and Madonna) are part of their Adult Peanut Butter Lovers Fan Club.
Why We Love National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
It’s obvious, but bears repeating. Peanut butter cookies hit the perfect note of sweet and salty, nutty, and creamy. We couldn’t ask for more in a cookie, and we won’t. We’re headed into the kitchen to bake some right now because this description just made us hungry.
Peanut butter is nutritious
We’re here to break the good news: peanut butter is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and premature death. It sounds to us like peanut butter cookies may just help you live a little longer! However, you do want to make sure that your peanut butter isn’t heavily processed or full of trans fats if you want to reap the benefits.
They’re a reminder of childhood
Once childhood is over, work and school take up a significant amount of time — how many of us have the extra time to bake cookies from scratch? We promise, three-ingredient peanut butter cookies are super easy and reminiscent of mom’s fresh-out-of-the-oven batch from childhood. You can even recruit your kids to help you!
National Peanut Butter Cookie Day dates