Thursday, January 20

Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

Oh, what a fickle, fickle girl I am.  Last month, I couldn't get enough of winter...the sub-freezing temperatures and the inevitable coziness that follows suit.  It's nearing the end of January and I'm O-VER it.  Like I might be completely out of my tree soon if I don't feel the sun's warm rays on my skin.. well, soon.

I anticipate the post-holiday blues like I prepare for my dental visits; they're impossible to avoid and even though they'll be over in no-time, I can count on it sucking big time.

Am I truly a girl of the season's when I can barely endure a solid month of winter before I lose it?  Not even New Year's Resolutions can pull me out of my funk.  I always set new goals because it's important to me that I'm constantly moving forward.  But they aren't usually put into motion until about a month later than most.  And that goes well with my "late bloomer" status.  I'll eventually come around, so please don't worry too much about my mental state.  All can be cured with a little baked love.

Or is that my problem?

Nevertheless, I have to share with you a little discovery I made over the holidays.  For Christmas, my ever-intuitive husband gave me a copy of Shirley Corriher's "BakeWise."  If you aren't familiar with the queen of food chemistry, it's time you introduce her to your rotation of favorite cookbooks.  She is pure genius.  She explains EXACTLY why things are-the-way-they-are in the world of baking and the science behind the pastry blender.  You'll learn why your chocolate chip cookies are flat (who knew protein content varies by 10% in all-purpose flour?!), how to make the perfect flaky pastry, and my personal fav...the BEST EVER peanut butter cookies.  My husband calls them "Devil Cookies."  Well, it wasn't me who sold her soul to the devil, I'm just the beneficiary of said business transactions.  Family members: they are reminiscent of "uncooked oatmeal cookies."  I'm pretty sure that it was a right of passage in the Ruffo household to make these perfectly soft and sweet mounds of joy in regular rotation.  They were always within mouth's reach.

To the detriment of your waistline, these Peanut Butter Cookies are unbelievably simple to make.   Not even a case of the winter blues can stop you from making another batch.  I've even verbally banned them (as if it's their fault) from the house, only to start whipping up another batch as soon as I saw flurries outside my window.

Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup chunky peanut butter (the chunks are important because they take the place of flour)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup english toffee bits or chopped butterscotch chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
In medium bowl, mix peanut butter, brown sugar and egg.  Stir in english toffee bits.  Shape into balls and place on cookie sheet.
Lightly press a fork over the top and flatten to make them a little prettier.  Lick bowl and spoons clean.
Bake for 9-10 minutes.  These are deceptive, so be careful not to over bake.  They won't be the same if you do.
P.S. To make the Dulce de Leche Peanut Butter cookies pictured, heat a can of condensed milk in a double boiler for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, and refrigerate in a covered container.  Once cooled, place a thin layer between two cookies.  Yum!!

I promise to be back to my normal, chipper self soon, but until then there are many things to be baked here inside my warm and cozy home, where I'll continue to wear my comfy lulu's with a drawstring waist.