Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cookies, anyone?

I love baking, no matter what the season. I will admit, though, that there is something about the fall that makes me go crazy baking and even enjoy cooking! :) I don't know about yours, but my all-time favorite thing to bake are cookies! I have a couple of such fantastic recipes, that I thought I should share them with you. :) I didn't even like peanut butter cookies until this recipe, so that's saying a lot!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar or 1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Oven 375 degrees

In a mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of the flour, the sugars, egg, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour. If necessary, cover and chill dough until easy to handle.
Shape dough into one inch balls. If desired, roll in additional sugar. Place two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten by crisscrossing with the tines of a fork.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Makes about 36.

Chocolate-Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies:
Prepare as above, except do not flatten with a fork before baking. Immediately after baking, press one milk chocolate kiss into each cookie.

Another fun variation:
*If you want peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, try adding 1 1/2 to 2 cups chocolate chips, depending on taste, to the mix. However, do not flatten with fork before baking.

Not everyone likes peanut butter, though, and I found the best double chocolate recipe in a little Nestle Toll House recipe booklet I found at the check-out stand at the grocery store.

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12 oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven 8 to 10 minutes or until puffed. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

For Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies:

If you like the taste of peppermint, try adding 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract in substitution of vanilla, or even in addition to the 1 tsp. vanilla, and this makes a wonderful mint chocolate chip cookie.

(My only advice is use peppermint rather than mint extract. When I was first experimenting with this, I used mint extract, and a lot of it...oh, my goodness! It tasted just like my toothpaste. (Which is fine if you are brushing your teeth, but your "sweet tooth" won't care much for it.) Okay, cheesy pun, but I just couldn't help myself! :)

On a more serious note, I didn't want to close without saying something about today's date, September 11th. It doesn't feel right not to pause a moment and reflect on it, to say a prayer for all those who were, and still are, affected by the horrible tragedy of that day. To say a prayer of thankfulness for our safety and our freedom, and to remember.
*Edited to add: Oops! I forgot to say that the recipe for Peanut Butter cookies is from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook.


cherry said...

I love to bake to unfortunately my hips disagree...those cookies would come in handy right about now....soooo pmsing. I love your scrapbook are so dang crafty. cherry

Unknown said...

yum I love peanut butter cookiea

Darlene said...

Chocolate chip and Peanut Butter cookies are my FAVORITES!!!! But, I seem to have a problem with wanting to eat WAY TOO MANY when I bake anything so I haven't baked in a while....those are tempting me though!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

YUM! I'm a baker, too, so am happily embracing cooler temperatures outside so I can fire up my oven! I'm going to give your chocolate cookies a try (with mint... mmmm mmmm).

Jeni said...

MMM I am going to have to bake something today. Hey I make peanut butter cookies with the hershey kiss in the middle...they make the prettiest cookies. ooo those chocolate ones sound like fun to try. Thanks for the info on the mint extract. I am also craving snickerdoodles! choices

Anonymous said...

mmmm that peanut butter recipe looks great!


Anonymous said...

Oh those pictures are making me sooo hungry! I can assure everyone how great your cookies are since you are so great about sharing them with me! :)

Our Complete Family said...

I forgot to comment on your cookie recipes! Girl, you are a good cook! Your fam must LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that! They all look yummy!!!