It's a shame that such a lovely name for a little girl has somehow managed to have some negative connotations. Let's focus on the positive, shall we?
There's a terrific Tom Petty song about her (which will inevitably get stuck in your head and, incidentally, makes a great karaoke selection), and she has some pretty cute shoes named after her as well (though I'm not convinced I can pull them off).
Did you ever try the Mary Janes from Necco? It's a peanut butter and molasses candy that's probably pretty tasty. I wouldn't know because for some reason, when I was little, I can remember picking every single one out of my Halloween bag and putting them in the will-not-eat pile. I think my brother probably told me they were gross so I automatically crossed them off. I'm not sure they're even made anymore, but if I could find them, I'd happily give them a try.
Yep, as it turns out, peanut butter and molasses pair beautifully. In these particular cookies, the dominating flavor is peanut butter, but there's definitely some molasses in the background and it contributes to some excellent sweetness and chewiness. As someone who doesn't really like the taste of molasses but digs peanut butter, I really enjoyed these cookies. However, folks who feel the opposite will probably be satisfied too--it's a nice balance. They're aptly named, as they're neither cakey nor crispy but perfectly chewy. And hey--that coating of sugar is not to be skipped, so don't even think about it.
From The All-American Cookie Book
- 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-3/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2/3 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 large eggs
- Granulated sugar, for rolling
- In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, shortening and molasses until well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs and beat until very well blended and smooth.
- Beat in half of the flour mixture until evenly incorporated.
- Stir or beat in the rest of the flour mixture until evenly incorporated.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 1-1/2 hours or up to 12 hours, or until firmed up.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray.
- Shape portions of the dough into generous 1-1/4-inch balls with lightly greased hands.
- Roll the balls through a bowl of granulated sugar so they're coated, then place the balls on the baking sheets, spacing about 2-3/4 inches apart. Using your palm, press down on the balls until the tops are just flattened.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tinged with brown and just barely set when pressed in the centers. Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning.
- Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks.
- Let stand until completely cooled.