Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Devil is in the Details

The message of the week in class today was "Pay attention to the details." I was inspired. When I got home, I noticed the following little things that might otherwise have escaped me:

The dog is overdue for a bath.
The clock in my car is running about 2 minutes fast.
The baseboards need dusting.
My daughter is missing.

I decided to pay attention to the recipe for peanut butter cookies instead.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

1/2 c. (1 stick) of butter, softened
1 c. chunky supermarket peanut butter*
3/4 c. sugar, plus some extra for sprinkling
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 Tbs. milk
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. peanut butter chips, optional

Heat oven to 350. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter together until fluffy, then add the sugars and blend until smooth. Add the egg, mix well. Then add the milk and the extracts. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, and then blend into the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla part. If using, now's the time to stir in the peanut butter chips. The dough will be soft. Drop by rounded teasponfuls onto parchment or Silpat covered baking sheets, leaving plenty of room for them to spread during baking. Using a fork (dip into a glass of cold water if it sticks as you're doing this), form criss-cross patterns on cookies, but don't flatten too much. Sprinkle cookies with a little sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn brown. Do not over bake! Cookies might look underdone, but they are not. Cool on the cookie sheets for a bit, then finish cooling on wire racks.

* Don't use the goopy all-natural organic stuff. It's OK for the lunchbox at your granola school, but it just won't cut it in these cookies.

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