“Pea-nut” as an alternative spelling is very cute :)!
Anyway, this recipe (which grandmother penned in turquoise fountain pen ink so is clearly from the 1960s or 70s) got me thinking about when commercial peanut butter became available. A quick check on the internet revealed that some of the popular brands today, Skippy and Peter Pan, were in fact first marketed in the USA in late 1920s and early 30s! However, in my extensive research through early 20th century Singapore newspapers, I’ve not seen any advertisements for commercial peanut butter in Singapore during those pre-war decades, so I think it might have still been a fairly novel thing when grandmother started baking these cookies :).
Which leads to another question: where did she learn this recipe from? My guess: foreign women’s magazines, such as the American McCalls magazine that is mentioned in other recipes in this notebook, or from expatriate ladies in the YWCA where she learnt her baking skills.
The recipe doesn’t specify what kind of shortening is to be used, but as I have discussed elsewhere, given the context of the times, I guess this would refer to hydrogenated vegetable shortenings such as Spry or Crisco.