Hello everyone, and Happy Valentine’s day. It’s been a while, I know (bad blogger!). I have accumulated a lot of leftovers, and therefore lack any space in which to put new food. But, fear not, I’ve cleared out some freezer space to make some new things this week.
This Friday through Sunday, I was in New Hampshire visiting my cousin. It was my own self-indulgent, Holden Caulfieldesque moment. I, as he would put it, was feeling yellow and needed to get away from all the big phonies in this city. So, escape to New Hampshire I did (however, unlike Salinger himself, I could not stay). Personal matters aside, some baking got done! Baking, you ask? Yes, baking. One of the last things I expected to be doing upon my arrival, but fun nonetheless. For whatever reason, I haven’t gotten into baking yet. I enjoy desserts of all varieties, but cooking suits me more.
While watching tv, we began to wonder how to make peanut butter. Such a simple spread, yet how does one go about it exactly?
A few handfuls of peanuts
The salt, honey, and oil depend on how many peanuts you use. We used maybe about two handfuls of unshelled peanuts. So, a tsp of salt, 3 tsp of honey and maybe 1 tbsp of oil. Put it all in a food processor (we had a Magic Bullet on hand) and give it a go until the desired consistency is reached.
Okay, now what? Cookies? Why sure. After a brief moment of searching, we settled on Paula Deen’s peanut butter cookie recipe. Food Network, its stars and shows abound, are perhaps one of my greatest and guiltiest of pleasures. Despite the overwhelming urge to either improvise our own recipe, or find one from a more…dignified, shall we say…foodie source, we persevered with Paula by our sides. Much to my dismay, this does not involve butter.
Paula Deen’s Magical Peanut Butter Cookies
1 c peanut butter
1 1/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease large baking sheet.
In mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar, the egg and vanilla. Stir well. Roll the dough into balls 1-1.5 inches in diameter. At this point you can either: roll them in the 1/3 cup of sugar and place them on the baking sheet OR place them on the baking sheet, dip your fork in the sugar, and press criss-cross marks across the balls, as Paula Deen does – your cookies, your call. Bake for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining sugar after they come out.
Clearly with what Paula Deen doesn’t use for butter, she makes up for with sugar. Unfortunately, this is at the cookies’ expense. I would’ve appreciated less sugar, but they were good. This recipe is almost stupidly easy to work with, which makes it more fun. Give it a try, modify it (please, someone…), this recipe is a blank canvas. The one modification we made was the addition of chocolate chips to the second batch of cookies. It made them way better.
An interesting aside: At Boston’s North Station, there is an ice cream kiosk. They sell cones, smoothies, and confections of all kinds. Look at the choices you have for your ice cream cone!
I can’t even begin to describe the variety. Obviously, you could go with the traditional chocolate-dipped sprinkle-covered cone. But you could also go with the chocolate-dipped gummi-bear covered one. Or the rice crispy treat covered one. Or the chocolate-dipped Reeses pieces-covered one. Or……….
Well, this has been one sweet post (yes, yes I did. It is, after all, Valentine’s Day.), but unfortunately it must now end. I’m switching grocery stores, so as to live a little bit more heathily/sustainably. Tomorrow, I hope to make a variation of thareed, an Iraqi chicken and chick pea stew.