I asked my son to grab my Blue Ina tonight. The one that’s really falling apart?
Yes, that one. The one that contains the first Ina recipe I ever tried, the peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie. And I’ve never really made another chocolate chip cookie since, they are my go-to recipe a few times a year.
Baking with kids is the best when I’m up for the multi-tasking. Kids love the whole process, even when they are just watching. When I don’t want Evie’s hands to dump something too early, I always give her a very important task like asking her to report to me when the eggs disappear. It buys me a few seconds to stay a step ahead of a possible disaster. Today she told me in her sing-songy voice, “It’s weady!”
This recipe usually means about 48 cookies with my 1 1/8 inch ice cream scoop.
And that’s too many to keep around the house.
I honestly don’t crave cookies, but I’m no fool. If I made cookies a lot and they were sitting here staring at me, I’d end up eating more than I want. So whenever I make these I start scheming a give-away plan while the butter and sugar are in the mixer.
Every baking event means a bundle for Geri, our sweet neighbor friend who’s lived in this neighborhood years before any of us were born.
This time I brought mini bags to my training team at the gym. It seemed fitting for them to eat them while I work out. Perfect.
How about a bunch for Cole and his weekend getaway, and the rest for a dinner party this weekend.
And that’s how this cookie story goes, just start creaming the butter and sugar together and before you get to the eggs you will have thought of all the perfect places to send them.That is after you grab a post-workout decaf americano, and drive home while it cools to the perfect temperature so you can make eating just one perfect cookie seem like the best idea you’ve had in a really long time. Then give them away fast or put them in the freezer before you forget your middle name.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Ina’s blue book, Barefoot Contessa Parties
2 sticks of unsalted butter, 1/2 pound
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar (lightly packed for a little less sugar than if you packed it down!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup smooth creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pound semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
Preheat your oven to 350°.
In a mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugars for a couple minutes until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, vanilla and peanut butter until fully combined. In a separate bowl spill your flour, baking powder and salt and hand whisk it until it is mixed and light. With the mixer on low, slowly add your flour mixture until dough is combined. With a large sturdy spoon, mix in the chocolate by hand until the entire dough has chocolate throughout.
I like to line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper for easy baking. I use a smaller 1 1/8 inch scoop (or rounded tablespoons) and make 12 small mounds on my cookie sheet. Then I take a small fork dipped in a cup of water and gently press down the mound with the tines of the fork, criss crossing each cookie top twice. Dip in water and go on to the next cookie mound. If I want them really uniform for stacking or giving away, I gently press in any lumps with the wet fork or wet fingers to smooth the edges.
Put your cookies in the oven for exactly 17 minutes. Remove them and let them cool on the tray for 1 minute and then remove to baking racks to fully cool.
Truth: I was baking along with my 2.9 year old and forgot this cookie recipe uses baking powder instead of baking soda like most cookies. I didn’t even realize it until I was typing it up here and remembered that I used the orange box–oops! We all know this is not a mistake that is usually edible, but this time it just changed the consistency a little bit. The learning? These cookies can be made with either baking powder or soda and still be delicious. It felt good to punch my old scrunched up perfectionist self in the face and give them away anyways. Ha!