Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Let's talk NUTS! Peanuts that is... Did you know PEANUTS aren't NUTS!? They are actually a legume. According to Texas Peanuts, Texas is the fourth largest peanut growing state in the nation. What better way to celebrate the harvest and our TEXAS heritage than with CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES. This recipe features creamy peanut butter made from TEXAS peanuts.
I believe in real ingredients, real moments, and real food, so everything I make at b. marie bakery is made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients straight from the FARM whenever possible. Regardless if you prefer traditional or something with an extra TWIST, this recipe is the perfect combination of SWEET, SALTY & DELICIOUS.
Peanuts have been grown in DeLeon, TX dating back to 1906 when the boll weevil shifted crop production from cotton to peanuts. By 1914 peanuts were the leading cash crop in Comanche County. At its peak, Comanche County led the U.S. in peanut production. Peanut production has since dropped dramatically, but local farmers like Mason Hodges continue to hold on to their peanut producing heritage. Mason is a fourth-generation farmer in Comanche County. When he's not in the field you can find him at Clark Tractor where he works as a Service Manager.
"It's not a question of wanting to carry on a family legacy. The question is how to manage an operation when inputs continue to increase but revenue may not increase proportionatly." - Mason Hodges
DeLeon, TX is a small rural community in Comanche County known for the DeLeon Peach and Melon Festival which dates back to 1914. The King of Rock n' Roll, Elvis Presley, made an appearance on July 4, 1955, where he sang gospel music in the park. When you travel down the main street you can still see remnants of a rural Texas town in its heyday. One thing is certain, it's still a unique place of quirky southern charm full BIG characters. Mason Hodges is one of those BIG characters that remind us of days passed when peanuts were king and family farms dominated the landscape.
WHY DO YOU FARM?
"Farming is in my blood. It's not an occupation it's my hertiage." - Mason Hodges
Crop rotation is a key component for maintaining yields for peanut production.
"The biggest challenge is crop rotation. You can't be just a peanut farmer." - Mason Hodges
A three or four-year crop rotation is typically utilized where producers rotate crops such as cotton, corn, sesame or other cash crops.
"Every crop has to be profitable. You can't handle many losses or you will be a former farmer, not a future farmer." - Mason Hodges
FROM FARM TO PEANUT BUTTER
There are four types of peanuts. The runner is ideal for peanut butter. Spanish peanuts are primarily used for candy. Valencia peanuts are mostly sold in-shell, consumed as boiled peanuts or roasted. The last type is Virginia which are often called "cocktail nuts". Mason grows runner peanuts which are planted in May and harvested in October or November.
The peanut plant flowers above ground and pegs are formed after the flowers drop. The peg then grows back in the ground and a peanut is formed at the end of the peg. During harvest, the plants are dug and turned upside down to dry. Once harvested, peanuts are sold for processing and drying. They make their way to the consumer as raw peanuts, in-shell peanuts, peanut butter, various candies, flour, meal, seed, hull and fiber, or oils. Mason sells his peanuts to Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts.
FARMING DURING A PANDEMIC
Farming during any season is a challenge that isn't suitable for everyone, but farming amid a pandemic has its own unique obstacles. The supply issues seen on empty grocery store shelves forced consumers to get creative when sourcing essential products.
"Fortunatly, the pandemic hasn't had a huge effect on my daily life regarding farming. We just have to realize that there are more people in this world besides ourselves and be considerate of others." - Mason Hodges
The kink in the supply chain created an opportunity for consumers to reach out to local farmers and ranchers directly. I am hopeful that farmers and ranchers will continue to have a voice and an opportunity to tell their own unique stories.
Despite what you see on the news or social media, we live in a country with the safest and most affordable food supply in the world. Educate yourself regarding common farming practices and why they're used. The easiest thing you can do is talk to your local farmers and ranchers.
"I would like the non-farming community to see a farmer just as they see the plumer, electrician, lawyer or doctor. We are here doing our part to keep food on your plate. We are all essential." - Mason Hodges
When you buy local you're not only helping support your local economy but you're supporting your friends and community.
THANK A FARMER
During times of uncertainty take comfort knowing it's everyday people in RURAL AMERICA working around the clock who provide the most affordable and safest food supply. They are the unsung HEROES who we often take for granted. Now more than ever, be grateful and thank the hardworking farmers, ranchers, and everyone in-between for ALWAYS providing. They have ALWAYS been there...and they ALWAYS will.
As you enjoy your family dinner from the comfort of your home, take time to reflect on how that food made it to your plate. Or how it made its way from FARM to BAKED. #farmtotable #stillfarming #thankafarmer #recipe #texaspeanuts #peanuts #chewypeanutbuttercookies
Until next time, check out the recipe for Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies below. Enjoy!
CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
RECIPE COURTESY OF B. MARIE BAKERY
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c dark brown sugar
3/4 c peanut butter
1 large egg - room temperature
1/2 c butter - room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c sugar - *used for rolling cookies prior to baking
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
Add egg, vanilla, and peanut butter. Mix on medium speed until combined.
With the mixer on low, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop a cookie and place in the extra sugar. Roll the cookie until coated. Place on the cookie sheet and make a criss-cross with a fork gently pressing the cookie flat.
Bake for 10-12 minutes (depending on cookie scoop size). Serve warm with a cold glass of Volleman's milk and ENJOY!