Why are there criss-cross marks on a peanut butter cookies?

13 12 2008

As a potluck dinner with friends, someone asked a question after staring at a plate of cookies:

“How do you make the criss-cross pattern on a peanut butter cookie?”

Most in the room were able to answer… it’s a resultĀ  of using a fork to “smash” the dough before baking. Then someone asked a question that stumpedĀ  us all:

“Why do peanut butter cookies always have the criss-cross marks?”


And that… I couldn’t answer. One person offered up the explanation that maybe it was a warning for people who have a food allergy to peanuts. I thought about it and suggested that maybe it made the cookie look like a peanut shell. So I came home to do some research to find that …everyone else doesn’t seem to know either.

The only other reasons I saw were that maybe it helped the dough stick together or that you often mix the dough with a fork, so using a fork to prepare the cookie seems likely. Yet, no one could point to a definitive answer. How about that? Even Google was stumped.

Either way, this cookie is kind of an anomaly. This pattern seems to reach past geographic and cultural lines. How did those little marks come to be associated with the peanut butter cookie? The world may never know. In that case, I’m gonna go with my theory. Resembling a peanut seems logical enough for me.

Just wanted to share. Take care!