The Boyfriend Cookies

New Year’s Day had come and gone. Our bellies and heads ached with food and drink hangovers and as the second episode of Chopped came on my boyfriend asked me to bake him cookies. This was the first baking request in our new relationship and I happily obliged to bake him some peanut butter cookies.

I love peanut butter cookies. They are sweet and salty, moist and crunchy, and super easy to make. I decided to add chocolate chips to the batter because who doesn’t love the flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate?

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sifting away

Sift and weight all your dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

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Mmmm brown sugar.

Always make sure to take your butter out of the fridge before baking. Having room temperature butter will help when blending in the suger, especially if you’re mixing by hand.

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Blend butter and sugar together.

Blend butter and sugar till smooth and creamy. This is my favorite part of baking, blending the sugar and butter together. It’s fun to watch the fat and sugar blend into a fluffy sweet mixture.

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Stir in the peanut butter to the batter.

Once the sugar and butter is well blended, add the egg and vanilla. Fold in peanut better by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon. You can use any kind of peanut butter that you like. Chunky peanut butter is always a nice way to add some crunch.

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All incorporated.

This is the point when the interested party walked into the kitchen to taste their special treat.

Mix in the chocolate chips.
Mix in the chocolate chips.

I like to use dark chocolate chips when baking. I used a combination of dark chocolates ranging from 60% to 72% cocoa.

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Shape into 2 inch balls before pressing with a fork.

Always chill your cookie dough before baking. If the fat is too warm, then the cookies will flatten in the oven. Chill for at least 30 minutes before baking.

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Baked and cooling.

These cookies smelled so delicious coming out of the oven. The boyfriend got a plate full of cookies and a tall glass of milk. I think he was satisfied. Maybe I’ll bake for him again.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 24

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz (140g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz (115g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 oz (165g) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 9 1/2 oz (265g) smooth or crunchy peanut butter
  • 8 oz (276g) dark chocolate chips

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 *F; grease baking sheet.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl; set aside.
  3. Mix together butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  4. In another small bowl, mix the egg and vanilla together and then gradually add to the butter mixture.
  5. Stir in the peanut butter. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Gently stir in the flour mixture and then the chocolate chips.
  7. Chill in fridge for at least 3o minutes.
  8. Spoon out rounded teaspoonfuls of dough and roll into balls and place onto sheets.
  9. With a fork, press flat onto the balls making a criss-cross pattern.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly colored.
  11. Cool on baking sheet.
The Boyfriend Cookies

Anyone want a cookie?

School and life are at the peak of craziness and sometimes I just need to decompress and make something simple and sweet. COOKIES! Baking is my sanctuary, my release from life’s tight grip, my escape from formalities, and my ‘I know everything is going to be alright’ quick fix.

Last night I decided to bake up a special treat to take to my classes. Yes, I am the student that takes freshly baked cookies, cakes, muffins, and empañadas to class with me. No, it doesn’t help me get a better grade.

I had a bag of frozen cranberries, some left over chunks of chocolate, and crystalized ginger candy around the kitchen, so hey why not make some Cranberry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with a touch of ginger!

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Chopped dark chocolate

I like to use chopped chocolate over chips. The chocolate gets chopped into all shapes and sizes making it ooze through the cookie with chocolate yumminess.

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I try to get even pieces, but the flaky dust is the best!

Cutting cranberries can be tricky. I start with a small amount and keep adding a handful until I can give a good chop all around. You can also use dried cranberries, but when using chocolate the dried cranberries can make the cookies too sweet. Fresh cranberries give the cookie a nice tart taste that pairs well with the dark chocolate.

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Coarsely chopped frozen (or fresh) cranberries.

The recipe didn’t call for candied ginger, but I love it, so in it went! It adds an unexpected burst of spice and sweetness.

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Candied Ginger. You only need a little bit, since it can be an overpowering flavor for most people.

I like to keep my cookie dough in the refrigerator until I’m ready to use it. Put the bowl back in the fridge in between batches. Like pastry dough, you want your cookie dough to be as cold as possible to ensure an even baking in the oven.

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Mix it up!

I didn’t have any old-fashioned oats, so I used instant steel cut oats instead. I was worried it wouldn’t work out, but it gave the cookies a nice crunchy texture.

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Straight out of the oven!

Always let your cookies cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes before eating or packaging them.

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COOKIES!

This recipe is adapted from an Epicurious recipe. This batch should make about 30 cookies.

Chocolate Cranberry Ginger Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Have two large baking trays ready. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl to blend; set aside. Using an electric mixer (or by hand), beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Scrap around sides of bowl to incorporate all the goodies.  Fold in flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips, cranberries, and candied ginger.
  2. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are light brown, about 16 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. While cookies are baking place bowl of batter in refrigerator until ready to use. Transfer to rack; cool completely.
Anyone want a cookie?