my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

April 4, 2013

peanut butter cookies

i made peanut butter cookies for my dear husband today. he asked, and though i said no, i still made them anyway. because i love him. and am insane. but mostly it's the love thing.

i originally said no because there is a ton of candy in the house at the moment. our children received easter candy from four different sources, so that's 12 total baskets that entered our home. it's a lot of candy, way more than my kids need to eat on their own. they honestly get candy from random sources all the time, but i never let them eat tons of it at once. i suppose that's the reason why, when i was condensing all the baskets and containers into three separate bags, i decided it was time to throw out all the old candy. most of it was from valentines day, though there was a surprising amount of candy canes left. what was frightening, though, was at the bottom of the candy bucket was still some leftover halloween candy, and a small bag that came from a special shop on the boardwalk, the one we went to last summer. so i guess i either have to start letting my kids eat more candy more often, or i need to go through the candy bucket more thoroughly.

anyway, i told him he could just eat candy instead of cookies. still, i completely understand when you get hungry for something, and though you can find a sweet substitute, it's not exactly the same as what you were hungry for. and then you end up disappointed. i certainly didn't want to be the source of my husband's disappointment, so i gave in a made cookies. plus, i figured i could use this as an opportunity to experiment.

i have made many different kinds of peanut butter cookies in my day. many from trusted sources. but none were exactly like the peanut butter cookie i was looking for. honestly, i like all my cookies to be soft and chewy, not fluffy and cakey or crisp and crunchy. the problem with peanut butter cookies, or at least all the recipes i've tried, is that they come out perfect, but once they cool to an eatable temperature, they become all hard and crunchy. i'll note that my hubby doesn't really care, cookies are cookies in his eyes, though he really does like the nice and chewy chocolate chip cookies that i make.

in fact, i used my chocolate cookie recipe as inspiration for the peanut butter cookies i made today. yes, today i went and made up my own recipe, which was a lot easier than i thought it would be. i knew i wanted a chewy cookie, and i remembered the trick from other recipes is to use all brown sugar. white sugar makes a crisp cookie, and the only difference between brown and white is the addition of molasses. so, when i made the peanut butter cookies today, i only used brown sugar, and i threw a few tablespoons of molasses in for extra insurance. i also remember that butter will make for a crunchier cookie, so i probably would have used shortening if i had any. instead i added extra peanut butter, because i figured that there was enough fat in the peanut butter to make up for the lack of any extra fat. that and i've come across a few peanut butter cookie recipes that don't add any extra fat or flour. it was that reason that i used very little flour in my recipe today, though i was too afraid to skip it completely. also, using my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe as a guide, i only used one egg, which made the batter too stiff, so i added some milk for additional liquid. i also added baking soda as per that recipe, because i wanted these cookie to rise a little.

the end result is exactly what i hoped it would be. the cookies have a nice outer shell around a chewy, very molasses-y center. the peanut taste is present, as it should be, but it's not overwhelming like eat a spoon of the stuff straight from the jar. i don't know yet how these cookies will hold up over the next few days, if they'll dry out and get crispy, but if i know my family, they won't last that long.

these cookies are a double win, as they are delicious, and a signal to myself that i am getting very comfortable in the kitchen. this isn't the first recipe i've successfully adapted, and i know it won't be the last.

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