Friday, June 24, 2011

Another rainy day? MAKE COOKIES!

The weather this year has been unbelievable! After all of my posts this winter about the overwhelming amount of snow, I bet you can guess what the spring brought: RECORD FLOODS! Lake Champlain hasn't been this high in a century or something, and many people I know in the area have been bailing out their basements or worse, filling sandbags by night to keep the rising waters (literally) at bay. You would think since the calendar says "summer," that we would finally get a break from all the rain, but nooooooo. We have had but a handful of days in May and June when the shiny disk in the sky managed to break through the nimbus clouds and let us bask in its warmth. Annnnnd....back to the rain.

However, as I grew up in Washington and Oregon, AND as I am still trying to fill up a swimming pool, I say, BRING IT! Plus, when it rains, you have an excuse to ignore the yard work and other outdoor projects, and you can stay inside and bake cookies. Tee hee. I find myself becoming rather domestic on Fridays in the summer, as I don't have classes to teach. Since my poor roomie does have to work, when she requested that I make her some homemade peanut butter cookies, I couldn't help but oblige. And I think I made some DARN GOOD ONES, too! I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen (as I often do), and she adapted the recipe from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. The next rainy day--or even for the next sunny picnic--you should make these easy and luscious cookies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)

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 at room temperature (smooth or chunky)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (I used dark)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips (I swapped out chopped peanuts as I hate PB--and butterscotch--chips, GACK!)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For sprinkling: 1/4 cup sugar, regular or superfine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter chips (or peanuts) and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern, but do not overly flatten cookies.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes* (until just a pale golden color). Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not. Cool the cookies on the sheets for one minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Gina's Note: I found that they took 9-10 minutes if the dough was room temperature and 11-12 if the dough was chilled. Using a standard cookie scoop, I got 35 cookies out of this one batch!

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