Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Groundedness and Peanut Butter Cookies

These are a few of my favorite things: baking peanut butter cookies for my kickass hair stylist and sweet inspiration Julia, Blackstreet and Dr. Dre turned up super loud ("I like the way you work it / No diggity / I have to bag it up."), Fourth of July long weekends in D.C. with Jenna and Ed, my super incredible hosts and friends (thank you!), my Monday night writers' group (Mary, Paddy and Jack = rockin'!), my new part-time baking gig at The New York Times-mentioned bakery, Sweet Art, (thank you so much, Reine ... I won't mess up the pastry cream this week), discovering new interests, from bellydance to rock climbing to the Palace of Wonders, and simply re-discovering how much fun being single can really be.

So, of course, my little blog has been neglected. Why does anyone read this thing at this point? I can only hope you'll know that I'm getting my groove back and that this blog (and my life) ain't seen nothing yet.

In the meantime, I'm sharing the peanut butter cookie recipe I made a couple of weeks ago. I still have most of the dough in my refrigerator because a) it's been too hot to bake, and b) as a single lady I don't need massive batches of cookies laying around. I need to start leaving care packages on my neighbors' and landlord's steps. That sounds like a nifty way to get in others' good graces, too.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe adapted from  Debbie Kokes' recipe in The Taste of Home Baking Book (thanks, Dad!)

1 cup unsalted butter (soften to room temperature, otherwise you're making it harder than it needs to be)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract (do not, under any circumstances, you imitation... ugh!)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Combine the dry ingredients and then gradually add to the peanut butter-sugar mixture.
2. Shape cookies into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten each ball by placing criss-cross marks on the cookie dough with a fork (think train tracks). Bake at 375 degrees F for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Enjoy! This recipe yields about 4 dozen cookies and takes about 20 minutes to prep, so it's super simple.

What I can say with certainty is that I will be making a delicious fresh-fruit tartlet for Thursday night when I go to visit Shane, my favorite attorney/PhD candidate in bioethics, person from Wasilla, Alaska (sorry, Sarah... you never stood a chance), and overall go-to guy. So, there will definitely be a posting next Tuesday. Also, my great buddy Nicole has inspired me to discover how to replicate Duff's frozen lemon-lime meringue pie. That pie is going to grace my 32nd birthday party in September. Honestly, I've never tasted such heady, citrusy goodness. So, two postings in the next 2 weeks for sure.

You betcha! ;)

Hugs, high fives, and a renewed sense of wonder,


rollergirl1 said...

Don't forget about the delicious, cinnamon-swirly goodness of the friendship bread! You should be baking it right this very minute!


Kella said...

The friendship bread was incredible, Nicole. Thank you so much for gifting me some of the starter. Now I need to give my little baggies of goodness away to other folks too. Mwah! K

Julia said...

I love u, Kella! Those cookies were so amazing. Just like you!!!

Kella said...

I love you too, Julia. You're the bestest on so many fronts. I am super lucky to have friends like you and Nicole! (see rollergirl1)