I remember when I was in high school, looking in the mirror. I looked at myself and thought, “This is probably the thinnest I will ever be.”
When I got into my early 20s, I remember looking into the mirror and thinking, “This is probably the prettiest I will ever be.”
Now I am 30. I look in the mirror and think . . . “Yeah. I got nothin.” haha.
I’m just kidding, but seriously. Life is a funny thing. Through the years I have gotten older, and my body has worked hard. I have fallen in love, had my heart broken, and gotten through it, a stronger person. I have had kids and walked the floors with them until I’m ready to collapse from exhaustion. I have gulped back tears on the first day of school and wondered whether I should extend my arm and put in an IV of coffee. I’m not a spring chicken anymore, and this chicken just keeps getting closer and closer to winter. hehe. But life is richer, the further you get into it. If I could go back into my 20s and live those scary times and regrets again, I just wouldn’t. I’m happy to be where I am. I love seeing my kids and still being able to beat them at Uno. Those days won’t last forever, I’m sure. But I do know that at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and think, “This is the happiest I will ever be. At least . . . until tomorrow.”
So let’s make peanut butter cookies– the quintessential happy cookie. Don’t stress so much about stretch marks, bags under your eyes, and a body that isn’t as young as it used to be. That body has worked hard, and you can claim those scars as marks of bravery. 🙂 Whip up a batch of comfort, and be happy today. And if you have some left over, you can be happy again, tomorrow. 😉
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
(adapted from Allrecipes.com)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened,
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
3 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
extra sugar, for dusting
Cream together sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add in peanut butter, egg, milk, and vanilla until well mixed. Add in flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Refrigerate dough for several hours to keep cookies from spreading too much while baking. When you’re ready to bake, roll 1-2 tbsp. of dough in sugar and use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on top. Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, just until edges are brown. Allow to rest on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
These cookies are super quick and easy. You can also make the dough ahead of time and pop it in the fridge for soft, perfect peanut butter cookies anytime. You’re welcome. Start out by creaming together your sugars and butter. Creaming just means that you whip your (room temperature) butter and sugars together until the mixture becomes a little lighter in color and well mixed. And keep repeating this mantra to yourself:
Cold ingredients are the enemy of good cookies.
Yes. Room temperature butter and egg will always make better cookies than cold ingredients. You know how, when you are in a cold place, all you want to do is stay huddled in your coat and not move or speak to anyone? Cookies are like that. When ingredients are room temperature, instead of chilled, it’s a lot easier to get the party started. 😉
Next, after you’ve creamed your butter and sugars, add in the peanut butter, egg, milk, and vanilla until everything is nice and mixed. I like to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that everything gets incorporated. Mmmm. Look at that awesome, creamy batter. Take a little taste. I won’t tell anyone. Don’t listen to the people who say not to eat anything with raw egg in it. You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted raw cookie dough!!!!
The last part of making this delicious batter is to add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix slowly so you don’t get a “baptism” of flour. 😉 At this point you can refrigerate your dough several hours or up to overnight, if you need cookies the next day. You don’t HAVE to refrigerate your dough, but cold dough will spread less and make your cookies thicker. If you just want yummy peanut-buttery-ness and you don’t care what the cookies look like, then bake away whenever you want. If you want perfectly lovely AND delicious cookies, then chill the dough.
Just . . . chill. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist).
After your dough has chilled out for a few hours, it’s time to make our coooooooookies!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never make cookies without a cookie scoop– they make the cookies exactly the same size and make the process go so much more quickly. Spend a few bucks and treat yourself– you deserve to have perfect cookies in your life. 😉 The scoops I have are here (and I’m using the black scoop for this size of cookies). I have them in all sizes and use them for “evah-thang.”
Once you make your scoops of dough (1-2 tbsp. of dough per cookie– it depends how large you want your cookies to be), roll the dough balls in sugar and use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on top. I bake all my cookies on a silpat— which is the best thing ever for baking because nothing– NOTHING– sticks to them.
Bake the cookies at 375 for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
Every oven is a little different, so keep an eye on them. You don’t want the actual cookie to be too brown– just the edges. Think of it as a suntan– overdoing it never looks good. You want just a kiss of color.
When the cookies are done, let them rest on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. The rest just helps to make sure that your cookies don’t fall apart when you try to move them.
Of course, if one pops into your mouth, warm from the oven, I totally understand that. Everyone knows that cookies fresh out of the oven don’t have any calories. And plus, you made them, so you are technically their master and allowed to do anything you want with them. Hehe. Make yourself a steaming cup of coffee and have a warm, chewy, peanut butter cookie. OK. Have two.
And remember that this is the happiest I will ever be. At least until tomorrow.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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