I loved coming home to after-school snacks when I was a little girl. My family lived within walking distance to the one-room schoolhouse we children attended from grades one to six, and if class was dismissed at three-fifteen it was easy to be home before three-thirty. Easy, that is, if we came straight home.
That wasn’t always the case. Sometimes we stopped along the way—between the school and our home were two other houses on our side of the road; they belonged to a couple of my dad’s brothers and contained aunts who just loved to welcome after-school visitors and offer them homemade cookies and milk. We quickly learned that if we watched our time, didn’t dilly-dally too long at one house, we could make two stops for cookies on our way home and still arrive early enough to avoid interrogation about our whereabouts.
I’m not sure how we managed to still eat a hearty supper after devouring several snacks between the end of the school day and our five-thirty evening meal, but we did. I’m not even sure that mom didn’t know about our little detours between the school and home—she was an astute mother so I doubt we ever actually pulled the wool over her eyes. And she was good friends with the aunts in those houses, too, so I imagine there were few secrets between them.
One of my favourite after-school snacks was Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies. These cookies combine two delicious ingredients—chocolate and peanut butter, so of course they are delicious. The recipe also calls for raisins and mom sometimes, but not always, added walnuts to the mix. I prefer the cookies without the optional walnuts but that’s just my taste.
When my children were little they loved after-school snacks too; as soon as the bus dropped them off at our stop they headed home to see what I had waiting for them that would tide them over until supper. Because we didn’t have relatives living nearby my children never experienced the joy of dropping in on aunts for a quick chat over cookies-and-milk on the way home from school. They did, however, sometimes arrive at our home with friends in tow, so I wonder if they ever went to the friends’ homes on their way to ours, keeping an eye on their time, not dilly-dallying too long at one house so they would still arrive home early enough to avoid interrogation.
I know they were always hungry when they arrived at our door, and were able to wolf down cookies and milk without any problem at all. And I know they still had room to eat a hearty evening meal and a bedtime snack so I’m pretty sure they came straight home. Hmmm…
Chocolate Peanut Butters
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1 cup peanut butter
Walnuts (as desired)
Raisins (as desired)
Cream shortening. Add sugar and mix peanut butter in well. Add beaten eggs. Add sifted dry ingredients and milk alternately. Last add vanilla, nuts and raisins. Drop from teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in oven 350° – 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes.