Well, school started back up last week and my house has quieted down significantly. I didn't really realize how crazy it had gotten during the summer until now when we are back on a regular schedule. While it's hard to have my kids in school it has also allowed me to get more things done around the house. I actually haven't baked anything for awhile but I have made a few ice creams that I hope to post soon. I plan on having more time to bake now that school is in.
When I was a kid, I always had to go to daycare right after school and then when I finally got old enough I was a latch-key kid. Because of that I always envied the kids whose parents were at home waiting for them with freshly baked cookies or an after school snack. I think because of that, I am so grateful that I am able to stay home with my kids. I also overcompensate by having something freshly baked nearly everyday. I am trying to come up with some healthy recipes so that I don't inadvertently make my kids unhealthy with all of my mothering. There really isn't anything more comforting after a long day at school then a freshly baked treat.
Today's treat, that miraculously came out of the oven just as the kids were getting off the bus, was not really a healthy one but one that I made with what I had on hand (I really need to go to the grocery store!). I had some peanut butter and a little bit of chocolate so I flipped through my favorite baking book (Dorie Greenspan's, Baking From my Home to Yours) and looked through the peanut butter section in the index. I noticed the chocolate peanut butter cookies and thought that they would be a great hit in my house. I was right, they were pretty darn good. Although, I think that they'd be better sandwiched with some of the fresh vanilla ice cream I made a few weeks ago, too bad it was gone in one night!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisscrosses
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/3 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
about 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon (if using) and whisk to combine.
2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add both of the sugars and beat for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. With the mixer running add the eggs, one at a time mixing until each is combined, then add the vanilla.
3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture a little at a time. Mix until just combined. Add the chopped chocolate and mix to combine.
4. In a shallow bowl add the 1/2 cup flour. Scoop the cookie dough (which will be soft) into heaping tablespoons and roll into a ball. Drop the rolled balls into the sugar and roll to coat all sides. Place on cookie sheets leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie. Dip the tines of a fork into the sugar and make the crisscross pattern into each cookie. Bake the cookies for about 11-12 minutes. the cookies will be soft but will firm up as they sit out. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack.