Thursday, July 28, 2016

Former Supermoms and Delicious Cookies

When my daughter was in kindergarten I was kind of super mom when it came to making her lunches.  I was new at being a stay-at-home mom as my son was still an infant and I kept myself CRAZY busy in the kitchen.  Everything in her lunch was homemade.  I made little kid-size pizzas with homemade dough and homemade sauce and then froze them so I could pull them out and send them in her lunches.  I made little mini muffins.  I made french toast on weekday mornings.

I made cookies.

Not just any cookies, but thick, gooey, chocolatey cookies.
Cookies that were big enough for her to split with her friends.
These things were what cookie dreams were made of.

And do you know what?
She hated it.
All of it.
Not because the food was bad but because she wanted what everyone else had.  She wanted fruit snacks and Lunchables and sugar water drinks.

I honestly didn't blame her, because I reacted the same exact way when my mom sent homemade foods in my lunch.  I just wanted what everyone else had.  I definitely did not want homemade pudding in little Tupperware containers.

As the years passed- and I got far busier- the supermomness wore off and my daughter's lunches began to resemble her friends' lunches a little more.
Minus the sugar water drinks, of course.  :-)

Then, one day not too long ago, she started saying things like, "Hey, remember those cookies you used to send in my lunch?  Why don't you make those any more?  They were SO GOOD."


A definite ego boost that she even remembers those cookies after all of this time- and a chance to play in the kitchen with her to boot!

These aren't the same cookies I used to make, but they're pretty darn close- they just have peanut butter added.  And peanut butter is almost always a good thing.

These cookies are everything a cookie should be- soft, chewy, and delicious.
Don't be tempted to make these smaller.  Nope, these are big guys.  The kind of cookie that laughs in the face of their tiny store-bought counterparts.  The kind of cookie that demands a little respect.  

First of all, they're big.  I literally pressed cookie dough into a 1/4 C measuring cup and then dropped the little pucks of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Secondly, they're not just peanut butter.  They're not just chocolate chip.  They're both.  So good.

Lastly, I amped up the flavor even more (if that's possible!).  When I was a kid (like 9 or 10 maybe?  I've been cooking a long time...) my dad came home from work with a Christmas gift basket that had a jar of mulling spices in it.

I had no idea what mulling spices were.  To be honest, I'm still not 100% sure I know now.  :-)
I did know they smelled delicious, so I dumped some in to a batch of peanut butter cookies.

Let me just tell you...mulling spices are the best thing to happen peanut butter cookies ever.  I've been adding a similar mix of spices to my peanut butter cookies- and sometimes my oatmeal cookies- ever since and people always rave about them.

So you know I added them to these cookies.

Ok, so if you really truly just want a delicious and amazing cookie without that added bit of spice, go for it.  Don't follow my suggestion.  These cookies will still be outrageous!  But if you're feeling a little adventurous follow my lead and add in those spices I've included in the recipe below.  I honestly don't think you'll regret it- even my 10 year-old was head over heels in love with the flavor!

One more word of warning, and this goes for all cookies so it's good to remember- DO NOT OVERBAKE.  When you check them and you think to yourself, "oh, still a little underdone in the middle, I'll just give them a minute more."

Do not, I repeat, do not, give them a minute more.  Pull those babies from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two, and transfer to a cooling rack.  Even if you still think they're slightly underdone, ignore your instincts to throw them back in the oven.  Let them cool completely (or almost completely, I know the siren's song of warm cookies can be hard to resist) and you will have perfectly moist and chewy cookies!

1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C peanut butter
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 C chopped semisweet chocolate
Optional: 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/16 tsp allspice, and 1/16 tsp ginger

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt (and seasonings if using); stir into the peanut butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Place baking sheets in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

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