Sunday, December 2, 2012

'Tis the Season!

The countdown is on - Christmas is coming and that means the next few weeks will be filled with holiday parties. Maybe a few cookie exchanges and perhaps a bit of stress. Whether you have one such sweet treat exchange to attend or need a bit of sugar to calm your stress, these perfectly nutty cookies are sure to fit the bill. 
When I was young, elementary age, I lived next door to a very sweet couple. We were close - so close that I called them "Aunt" and "Uncle" despite being of no blood relation. I lived in Oklahoma and my extended family lived in Ohio and these sweet neighbors filled the absence of nearby relatives. I learned so many things from them - how to sheer sheep, milk cows, butcher a chicken and even helped a cow give birth to her calf. Clearly, this was a rural community. Every June I made peanut butter cookies for my stand-in "uncle" on his birthday - they were his favorite cookie and to this day I rarely make these without thinking about him. He was a kind, gentle, soft-spoken, patient man - completely the opposite so many men in my life at that time and I will be eternally thankful for his mild and considerate example. I was pregnant with my second child when he passed - I am certain that he is sitting at the feet of Jesus. I hope they have peanut butter cookies there.
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup peanut butter chips
Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking pwder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Add peanut butter chips and stir by hand to combine. Refrigerate batter until set - at least 30 minutes - can keep in an airtight container for one week and bake a few at a time for a wam after shcool snack.
Roll into 1-inch ball and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown.