I have many random things to tell you and somehow my meandering thoughts have to lead you to this amazing peanut butter cookie recipe. Where to begin…well for one, I’ve been reading so many tips and strategies for making this blog kick ass. Reading, reading, snore, reading some advice, like “allow your readers to enter into your life…make them feel as if they know you…maybe share a little more…” The take-away, tell your story–throw your family and friends under the bus in your writing.
“What is your niche? Define your niche. Now define your niche even more. Good, now shrink it down even more…”
“Post more frequently, include stellar photos, comment on other blogs. Before hitting ‘publish’ ask yourself if your readers will answer ‘Yes!’ to the following: Is this post relevant to me? Is this valuable to me? Can I trust this?”
It’s a lot to think about, too much to analyze and leaves me with the question, What if my blog is average? Could I be happy with that? Fuck NO! Can I swear on my own blog? I don’t even know!
My husband and three kids are my world and they are the reason for this blog. Those of you who have been with me since my first post (April, 2012) know that I am living with four really picky and unreasonable eaters (my middle son, of whom from this day forth shall be known to all as “Fritz,” is open to new recipes and unfamiliar flavors with the exception of bananas and Indian food–he won’t even try it…yet).
My oldest son, my teenager–we’ll call him “Augie,” won’t try a single new food. But wait! A few months ago, he tried, for the first time, brisket! Of all things! And, it was at a friend’s house. Did you hear my voice get low and deep with indignation just now?!
Like all good mothers, I blame myself. He was my first and everything I fed him was organic and sterilized and didn’t contain any GMOs or pesticides or high-fructose corn syrup. I didn’t allow him to put Heinz ketchup on his mini grass-fed burgers that I shaped using only my thumb and index finger.
The girl. The baby of the family. The one I’ve renamed for this blog, Harriet. I believe I still have a chance with this one. “What’s that smell?”she’ll ask in a way that makes me think my turkey meatloaf baking in the oven isn’t triggering her gag reflex. Will she taste it though? Nope. She’ll stick to her bowl of plain pasta (no butter, no sauce, no cheese, everything that says I love you, Harriet she denies night after night).
Some of you know him. Some of you love him, despite knowing him. He’s the Hubbas. And sometimes he can be a giant
pain in the kid when it comes to trying new foods. We’ve been together for twenty-three years now and you know, he really had me duped in those first years–taking me on dates to schwanky restaurants in NYC, telling me things like, “I’ve tried alligator.” Blah. Whatever. Now I say things like, Why won’t you try this hummus I made for Pete’s sake?! Honestly, he’ll try pigeon and a gray spoonful of rabbit pate at a fancy restaurant on the rare occasion that we dine to that fancy extent, but he’ll sit there at our kitchen table and pick out every little teensy tiny piece of onion or garlic or tomato from my tomato sauce.
Of course, he has good qualities. We’ve been married for sixteen years and I haven’t been in a coma for any of them. He’s crazy. He thinks I need prescription drugs or at the very least, a therapist, and yet, this is our glue. Together we make a pretty great life for us and for our kids. I told him the other day, “You know, I appreciate that every day you keep showing up…just wanted you to know that I notice these things.” We are a dysfunctional combo at times, but after all these years, we keep showing up every day. So we’ve got that.
I’m letting loose, dear readers. You want some pretty great recipes? You will have them. I will do all the research for you, I will blow things up in my kitchen so you don’t have to. But I promise you, it will come with a tale or two of chaos.
How can I get to that peanut butter cookie recipe from here? I know! Sometimes, just before dinner is ready, pots are bubbling on the stove, the table is set, the Hubbas will eat a spoon of peanut butter from the jar which says to me, “Maybe I shouldn’t eat what you’re making for dinner on an empty stomach.” Hmph!
Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate
I gleaned this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, of which Deb, the author based on NYC’s Magnolia Bakery. Not only does this recipe have peanut butter in it but it also has those addictive peanut butter chips. Double peanut and if that’s not crazy enough, there are chocolate chips as well. And, if you happen to have any peanut butter cups leftover from Halloween (I know, who am I kidding?) chop up a handful and toss them in.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup peanut butter (commercial brand only–no natural, organic…)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I chopped bittersweet chocolate–Ghirardelli 60 % instead of using chips for more even distribution)
- For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine
Preheat the oven to 350 °
In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Grab another large bowl into which you will beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and make sure it’s mixed in well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Then the flour mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and with a wooden spoon stir in the peanut butter chips and the chocolate chips/pieces.
Place the tablespoon of sugar on a dinner plate, then using an ice cream scoop, drop rounded spoonfuls of cookie dough onto the plate of sugar. Roll them around and space apart by several inches onto an ungreased (parchment-lined is even better) cookie sheet. Using a fork or the back of an offset spatula and gently press down. Do not smush the cookies. We don’t want pancakes.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake. In my opinion, a slightly, chewy, under baked cookie is way better than a dry, over done one.
Smitten Kitchen offers, “Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.”
Cool on the sheets for 1 minute, then move the cookies over to a cooling rack and watch them be devoured by your family (and you) before they have cooled completely.
** I doubled the recipe. Then dropped ice-cream-scoop-size portions onto a cookie sheet. Froze them like that, uncovered, then placed them in a Zip-loc baggie. I can now bake a couple at a time any time I want. Baking time will take longer.