Hah. It snowed this weekend. Everyone panicked. Hilarity ensued. Friday night, everything is well, I have a whole weekend and tons of plans laid out ahead of me. But everything went downhill from there (including me, eventually, on my rear. For a few feet, anyway). It snowed primarily on Saturday, and since people here have many concepts of hill and no concept of plow, it is still difficult to get around on the narrow back roads. Since I live in a tiny town, this holds for most of the roads, including my parking lot. I also currently lack a shovel (gasp!), so I couldn't dig my car out. So out went the plans for meeting old friends, having fantastic sushi, and then playing games until midnight. Instead I stayed in, read books, studied, and baked two dozen peanut butter cookies.
The peanut butter cookies were DELICIOUS, which is why there are now only three of them left. Hey, don't judge me. I have a deep love for baked goods! I ate other things too--I made popcorn, and I had eggs and toast once or twice, and I even baked some fantastic crispy shrimp!
Chunky Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe:
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 to 1 cup chunky peanut butter
a handful of peanuts, shelled, no salt (optional)
a handful of mini chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar + a tablespoon extra for rolling
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 dollop of vanilla (or a tsp, if you must measure).
Beat butter and peanut butter together with a mixer until uniform. Beat in brown and white sugar, baking soda, and baking powder, scraping the sides, until uniform. Beat in egg and vanilla. You might want to pre-mix the egg, though with a high speed beater this wasn't a problem for me. Add half a cup of flour and beat it in as well. If the mixture is not too thick, add the next half, and beat mightily until it is well mixed. I had to fold and hand-mix the last 1/4 cup of flour. If you're including the peanuts and/or chocolate chips, fold them in last by hand; don't use a mixer.
You can let this sit in the fridge until it's easy to handle, but for me it was fine to work with right away.
Roll the dough into balls of any appropriate size. (1-2 inches). Roll these balls in the extra granulated sugar (on a plate, or in a bowl), and place a couple of inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. To get the characteristic pb cookie pattern, press the balls flat with the tines of a fork.
Bake in an oven pre-heated to 375 for 7-9 minutes. My oven runs a bit hot, so I preheated to 350 and left them in for 10-12 minutes. Note that when they first come out of the oven, done or not, because of all that peanut butter and butter they feel very soft. I checked mine by carefully lifting them with a spatula to see if their bottoms were a slightly darker golden brown. I did burn a batch, but not too badly to eat. Pop them on a cooling rack for a few minutes and enjoy!
NOTE: These are SWEET cookies. Very sweet. I'm sure some people will say too sweet. If you want a less-sweet cookie, you might consider finding an unsweetened peanut butter in the organic foods section of your grocery store, or cutting back on the sugar (to 1/4 of a cup each), or not rolling them in the sugar.