Peanut butter and pickles, PB&P. It is an unlikely pairing which shouldn’t work, but it does. The vinegary snap of chilled pickle cuts like a dash of irony, against the stoic unctuousness of peanut butter. It is a thrifty and unacknowledged American classic. I’m sure a lot of people’s grandmothers ate them. Peanut butter has no cholesterol, and is a great source of protein if you eat enough of it. How can that be all bad?

They go along with all the other things people like to marry with peanut butter and place between two slices of bread, such as bananas, raisins, mayonnaise, olives, bacon, onion slices Hemingway’s favorite! (I shudder to think what that did to his breath!) Elvis preferred bananas and bacon on his peanut butter. However, remember what that did to his waistline?

One friend grimaced and said it was ‘sort of scary, but the bread and butter pickles weren’t too bad’. I have never tried dill, but who knows? As my late father-in-law used to say when I sneered as he put sugar on his scrambled eggs, ‘Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’. And when you think of it, egg souffles have sugar, don’t they?

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (Without pickles, please!)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup salted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup roasted salted peanuts ground to resemble bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees, parchment covered cookie sheet
Mix first 4 ingredients and set aside
Cream sugars and butter just until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add peanut butter and mix until fully incorporated.
Add eggs one at a time and vanilla and mix until combined. Add dry ingredients.
Mix in ground nuts until incorporated.

Drop by 1 Tbs. balls onto cookie sheet and press each ball 2 times with a fork dipped in cold water. (The familiar criss-cross is traditional)
Bake 10-12 minutes.
Cool on cookie sheet 5 min. then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.