Thursday, December 9, 2010

day 8: a variation on the assignment

Ally, here.

We apologize for the lack of posting. We've been baking, but we've also been studying and writing papers and taking tests. But we will catch up now!

Day 8 of the great Christmas cookie challenge delivered a PB and J Thumbprint cookie recipe to my inbox. Now, I looked at those and thought, "I love peanut butter cookies," because I really do love peanut butter cookies. They are probably in my top five favorite cookies of all time. Unfortunately, when it came to baking time, I wasn't quite in the mood for peanut butter and JELLY cookies. To quote the husband, "If I wanted peanut butter and jelly, I'd make myself a sandwich." So I improvised.

If you'd like to check out the recipe in it's original form, please feel free to get your fill of PB and J. Otherwise, follow me for a slightly altered version.

Be warned, once again, that the dough requires a bit of time in the refrigerator before baking. I always wish someone would tell me that before I get started, so I'm extending that courtesy to you. You're welcome.

-1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup light brown sugar
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 egg
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat, of course, but it made the cookies taste really healthy.)
-sugar in the raw

Beat the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla, egg, and salt, and blend until combined.

Add the flour in half cup intervals.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all of the dough is together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (I cheated a little here and only left mine in the fridge for an hour and a half. I wanted cookies.)

Preheat the oven to 350.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll into balls using the palms of your hands. Roll in sugar in the raw and place on a baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the balls.

Flatten the cookies using the method of your choosing. I just stuck my thumb on top of them to form a little thumbprint, but you can also use a spoon or fork, depending on your preference.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Now, I left the jelly off of mine, so I had to add a little something extra. I made a simple powdered sugar frosting that really complemented the peanut butter flavor. Originally, I had planned on drizzling the cookies with chocolate, but after a disastrous chocolate microwaving incident, I gave up and just made the icing.

For the icing, just mix about a cup of powdered sugar with a few tablespoons of water. I always start out with a little powdered sugar and just add more to get to the consistency I desire. Add about a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and you're good to go!

I would also like to give the suggestion of using crunchy, rather than creamy, peanut butter. I have always wanted to try that, but I honestly forgot to do it when I made the cookies. If you try it, please let me know how it tastes!

You're going to love it!

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