Peanut Butter Cookies

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I’m not much of a baker.  Well, aside from the weekly bread baking, that is.  But I’m not much of a baker of sweet things like cakes and muffins and pastries, so these are usually recipes that I end up skimming over, owing a token glance just to see if there’s anything unusual enough to warrant a surprise performance at a potluck or dinner party, but usually abandoning for the heartier meal components.  

But for some reason this week I really started craving a peanut butter cookie, like a really chewy dense one.  And really, if you have the basic fixings of a kitchen, you always have ingredients on hand for cookies, right?

This recipe, slightly adapted from The Craftinomicon, was just the ticket.  I will point out here that I’m a total non-traditional cookie baker.  I know there are scientific and chemical reasons for mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately, and for using mixers and creaming butter and sugar in a specific way.  But I don’t have patience for either of these, and I don’t like baking enough to invest in any sort of appliance or method to accommodate this.  But as luck would have it, it worked out anyway.
Instead of using a mixer or a spoon, I just use my hands to incorporate all the ingredients together, which works like a charm as long as you remember to take all the lids off your containers and open up your flour bags first.  This is also the reason there are no pictures of the mixing process.

To begin with, I mixed 3/4 cup butter with 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar.  Once these were thoroughly combined, I added 1 cup of Adam’s crunchy peanut butter, 2 eggs, and 1.5 teaspoons vanilla.

Like I said, I’m not a two-bowl kind of girl, so into this same bowl, I directly added 2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon each of baking soda and baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and commenced phase two of mixing.

As luck would have it, I had this fantastic little baggie of trail mix in my cupboard, that was intended to be sustenance for a snowy hike the other morning at Breitenbush Hot Springs, but we never made our way through it, and so into the mix I added the perfect combination of dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and chocolate.

I made little balls out of the dough, gave them the compulsory peanut-butter-cross-hatch, and baked at 350 for 15 minutes.  They turned out perfect!  This also made a gargantuan amount of dough, so after baking the first 12, I kept the remaining dough in the fridge, perhaps to be baked Thursday morning and brought fresh to whatever St. Patrick’s Day festivities await…
Note the vacant spot.  I’m still trying to remember not to eat the food before I take pictures of it.  Ha!