This is my first month to post with the Secret Recipe Club, and I’m really excited. But there was a little bump in the road on my way to this post.
I came home one evening a couple of weeks ago, checked email and Facebook before heading to bed (please tell me I’m not the only person here who does that), and noticed a cascade of emails from the SRC group chirping about their posts that had just gone up. I felt a burst of panic. Oh God, I thought. Was my post due tonight?
I hadn’t even bought the ingredients yet. How could I have gotten the date wrong? The blog I had been assigned, Turnips 2 Tangerines written by Lynn, wasn’t going to be highlighted the following morning along with everyone else’s. There are rules around this, and I was sure I would be kicked out of the Club before I had even started. I felt horrible.
My husband, whose marriage survival skills immediately kicked in, didn’t tell me I was over-reacting, or point out it was just blogging. Instead, he generously offered to run to the local 7-11 store to pick up ingredients. I glanced at my watch. Ten minutes to midnight. It’s the 7-11 store, not the 7-12 store. I had to work with what I already had.
Could I find a recipe, make it, photograph it, write it up, and sneak the post in before 3am (6am on the east coast)? I didn’t think so. So I sent my SRC leader an email explaining how badly I had messed up. Well, I actually sent her three. I know, I know. An over-reaction.
It wasn’t until an hour or two later that I suddenly remembered that different groups have different posting dates. My group is D, not due for another two weeks. Big. Huge. Relief. I wrote a fourth email to my SRC leader saying, essentially, ‘um…never mind :-/’. But in my fatigued state, never hit ‘send’. The next morning, of course she said no worries. And of course I responded oh thank goodness. But I felt pretty stupid for not being able to follow a simple calendar, and for hitting the drama note before I had even left the gate. A rough start.
I made Lynn’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies the next day. I’d had my eye on them along with her Tortellini Lentil Soup and Maple Baked Beans. But let’s face it, by then I desperately needed cookies. I made some adjustments for baking these at 7000 feet above sea level, and added some chocolate chips. For making these at sea level, just go to Lynn’s original recipe on Turnips 2 Tangerines.They were just the ticket to feeling better, and if I hadn’t had to share them with my husband, I would have eaten every single one. They have just the right combination of chewiness and crumble, and are so easy to make.
Best of all, I found you can make them with ingredients you probably have hanging around your kitchen, even if you want to make them at midnight and the stores are all closed.
Mountain Baking: Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
Makes approximately 40 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
- 1 1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (or make your own!)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375˚F convection, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl using a whisk. It’s important to evenly distribute the baking soda as much as possible through the flour.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy.
Add peanut butter and sugars, and beat again until fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat well.
Remove the bowl from the standing mixer and add the dry ingredients in thirds, folding them into the dough with a spatula. Each third should be fairly well combined before adding the next third. This method helps prevent the gluten in the flour from developing too much, keeping the cookie tender.
When the dry ingredients are completely mixed into the dough, fold in the chocolate chips, and scoop the dough into small balls using a small ice cream scoop. Place them on the lined cookie sheet roughly 2 inches apart. I used a scoop that was a little more than 1 inch diameter. Crisscross the tops of the balls with the tines of a fork so that they’re flattened.
Bake for 11 – 12 minutes. The cookies will still be soft in the centers, but the edges will be firming up and a golden brown. If you bake them until they’re firm, by the time they cool, they won’t be chewy at all. They’ll just break apart.
Remove from the oven, and keep the cookies on the cookie sheet for one minute before removing to a cooling rack. Allow to cool enough to firm up, if you can wait that long, before sneaking a few.