Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

I'm posting this quickly because a friend of mine mentioned the other day how awesome it is to be at the point in her life that she can whip up complete meals by just what she has on hand.  That is indeed a wonderful accomplishment.  It took me years to get there. On a moment's notice, I can pull out a meal or a snack or a dessert by what's in the pantry or fridge or freezer. With kids it's a huge plus.  When one reaches this point, it's a feeling of confidence and accomplishment to not have that stressful feeling of , "What am I going to COOK?!?!"

Last night my youngest said, "I wish we had cookies."  My girls love to bake. They love to cook. I feel I've taught them how to McGeyver their ways through the kitchen with confidence.  And it's always nice to have extra hands while cooking! With my youngest, she loves to mix. And the secret to really creamy cookies, cakes and cupcakes is the mixing.  She had the job of beating the peanut butter and butter together and then slowly adding sugar with more beating then eggs until it's all creamy and smooth then hand mix it with the dry ingredients.

Here's my recipe I keep on hand for Creamy Peanut Butter Cookies. Since this was a last minute thing that was whipped up, I only got one photo....on my Blackberry. But they are delicious!

A few notes, when I make cookies, I turn the oven down below what the recipes call for to ensure #1 they don't burn and #2 they are chewy.  I also use two eggs when the recipe generally calls for one.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda large pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
Cream together butter and peanut butter until well blended and smooth, adding the sugar gradually to mixture.
Beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
 Add 1 egg, well beaten; stir in vanilla. When well mixed, add flour mixture, stirring until mixed.
To avoid tough cookies, do not beat - stir only until mixed.
Drop by the teaspoonful onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and press a criss-cross pattern onto the top using the tines of a fork that has been dipped into flour. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 8 minutes. Do not overbake. Makes about 3 dozen.

**As I said, I bake below the recommended oven temp.  I baked my cookies at about 275°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until they're browned.

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