Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth and chunky both work)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (I used dark brown and it was good!)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then in a large bowl, mix together the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt.
  2. In another large bowl, beat together the butter and the peanut butter until they are fully mixed and begin to be fluffy. Add in the sugar and brown sugar and mix together until fully combined. Then add the egg, and mix until fully incorporated. Then add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, and then stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  3. Place sprinkling sugar (about 1 tablespoon of sugar) on a plate. Drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar,and then put them on ungreased cookie sheets. Allow space in between the cookies. Then use a fork to flatten each cookie, making a crossed pattern on top, but leave each cookie still slightly rounded. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Try not to overbake them - they may still look a little underdone when you pull them out but they will firm up after taking them out of the oven.
  4. Allow them to cool a bit on their baking sheets and then move them to a cooling rack to fully cool down.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen (& the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on www.inthiskitchen.com

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies [ inthiskitchen.com ]

It has been nothing but rain, rain, rain here for the past, oh, 2 weeks. Honestly, it hasn’t been bothering me much – as long as it’s not cold outside, I don’t mind the rain. It feels refreshing and maybe being from Arizona makes me appreciate it more. I know when summer hits and we are all outside in the blazing sun we will be wishing for weather like this!

The rain does mean more staying inside though, and staying inside often makes me want to cook and bake. I actually made these chocolate chip peanut butter cookies a while back, but have been waiting to share them here.

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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Easy Coffee and Walnut Cake

Coffee and Walnut Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Coffee and Walnut Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Howcome no one told me it was so hard to frost cakes?? Well, okay, actually I’ve heard that a million times, but… they make it look so easy on TV! You can see my amateur cake frosting on this coffee and walnut cake here, but I promise you that this cake was very straightforward and easy to make, and for anyone with even a *little* bit of experience frosting cakes, I’m sure you’ll have a far prettier cake than I did. And this cake is so, so good that it doesn’t matter how “homespun” (to use Nigella Lawson’s term) it looks – it will be devoured.

This cake has walnuts throughout the batter, walnuts that have been whizzed up with sugar in the food processor, creating the most delicious walnut-sugar powder (I admit, I tried it straight out of the food processor). And yes, basically the whole shebang – batter and frosting – can all be made in your food processor (thanks, Nigella!).

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Easy Homemade Bulgogi

Quick Homemade Bulgogi Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

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There is a small & humble but consistently delicious Korean restaurant that Dan and I used to frequent when we lived in Bethesda, where the bulgogi, dolsot bibimbap, japchae were always waiting & the waiters got to know us. We’d often go after stopping at the nearby comic book shop and one waiter would ask about what books we got and chat about those comic-related things that I know nothing about (superheroes, presumably). He always made sure we had enough hot & spicy gochujang sauce to go around. We’re not nearby that little restaurant anymore, but we are close to an Asian market (and some other Korean restaurants), which almost makes up for it.

The good news is you don’t even need to have an Asian market to make this homemade bulgogi! I was amazed at how flavorful it turned out, and how reminiscent of “the real thing” it actually is. If you had asked me a couple months ago, I would have said I was intimidated by homemade bulgogi, but this stuff is so, so good and not hard at all. It’s all about that marinade – I left mine in for at least 8 hours. Then you just pan-fry or grill it up, and it is exactly what you want over some good steamed white rice, or in some bibimbap if you wanna get fancy.

You should definitely try to make some of this – it’s easy, it’s great with beef, pork or chicken (I used pork) and after a good marinating session in the fridge it’s ready to whip up on any weeknight.

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Dark Chocolate Ricotta Cake

Dark Chocolate Ricotta Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Dark Chocolate Ricotta Cake Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

I’m a big fan of a humble cake.

There are so many unbelievably gorgeous cakes out there that are works of art, that are so beautiful you hesitate to cut into them – my boyfriend works for a high-end bakery that specializes in just these kinds of cakes, so around here we don’t exactly have a pressing need to make multilayer tiered and frosted cakes at home.

So enter the humble cake; it’s a quick batter – made even quicker if you weigh your ingredients rather than measure them – that comes out perfectly crackly on the top and then gets a snowshower of powdered sugar. This ricotta dark chocolate cake is one of these cakes. It’s not very sweet, but is deeply chocolatey, goes incredibly well with whipped cream, and is the perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea.

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Ginger Lemon Soba Noodles

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Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks was the first food blog I ever visited. It was 2008, I was a newly minted vegetarian, and I was searching online for a good recipe involving tofu. I came across the humble gem of a recipe for Caramelized Tofu, which I still to this day love, and a love of food blogs was born. The recipe seemed to marry so many disparate things that I would never have thought to put together: brussels sprouts (shredded up, no less), brown sugar, tofu, cilantro? But the end product was so good that I trusted her from then on.

I’m no longer a vegetarian, but I still love good vegetarian foods. Today I have a different recipe that I’ve adapted from Heidi, but one that has the same ingenuity of bringing together techniques and flavors I wouldn’t have thought to do on my own. I love ginger, I love lemon, I love soba. But the dressing on these noodles also incorporates mirin, brown sugar or honey, and celery, and the resulting flavor is very unique while still seeming just right. It’s tangy and refreshing, but combined with some pan-fried tofu (or any protein of your choice) it is undoubtedly filling.

Ginger Lemon Soba Noodles Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

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spicy shawarma chicken pitas

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After a nice, sunny vacation home to see family, I’m back on the East Coast, with it’s characteristic winter light (or lack thereof), bare bones trees devoid of their leaves, and wind that makes even slightly cold weather all the more chilly. It’s actually a mild winter (so far – knock on wood – cross your fingers), but I can’t help but miss the green trees and longer days.

It hasn’t been hard to keep busy though, with going back to work full-time and getting to cook a lot at home, while listening to old Rolling Stones tunes or newer ones from Courtney Barnett (who I have fallen in love with!). It has felt good to get back to a routine of sorts – even if a small part of that routine is daydreaming about moving back to the West Coast in the next couple years. For now though, I’m happy, and have returned to the kitchen with a few new fun cooking gadgets and ingredients as well.

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moroccan spiced roasted butternut squash

moroccan spiced roasted butternut squash [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I must admit that I have been trying to “eat healthier” lately. Before you hastily close this blog, never to return again, let me explain. For me, eating healthy cannot and never will mean sacrificing good food. I pretty much don’t do low fat (How could I? Have you tried full-fat Fage greek yogurt? God, how good it is), I don’t like artificial sweeteners, I won’t do low-carb, and the list goes on ad infinitum. Essentially, I just want to keep eating the things I love, but less of “the 10 chocolate truffles after lunch and half a large pizza for dinner” type of things I love and more of the “holy crap, roasted butternut squash is so good, subtly sweet and warming” type of things I love. It’s the same philosophy Diane Cu used and wrote about in this post, which is a wonderful read.

Leaving that aside, this roasted butternut squash is fantastic, spiced with a light hand, and sweet yet savory at the same time. It would be perfect for a side at a holiday feast, and just as perfect for the rest of winter when everyone wants healthy New Years Resolutions-friendly veggies.

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recap

A bit of a confession to make: for the past year or so, I haven’t really cooked. Okay, I have – but certainly not nearly as much as I like to. First there was my possibly slightly unwise decision to move into a shared group house where the only available cooking appliances for six (yep) housemates was a small, portable 2-burner cooktop and a toaster oven.  Then, the other small detail of enrolling in a 1-year, slightly accelerated Master’s program that took up all of my weekends and often, my weeknights until 9pm, had its way with my schedule from August to May. Then there was the finding-a-job, then the getting-a-job (for which I am certainly grateful), then moving again (more on that soon). As I’m not much one to fight over cooking space nor one to ignore the call of weeks full of exams or job applications, I didn’t cook very much. In fact, I never even unpacked nearly all of my boxes labeled “kitchen stuff” while living in the big six-person house in the first place.

Which brings us to today: I’m now in my new (as of 2 weeks ago) apartment, and housemate-free – except for my boyfriend, who I’d never mind sharing a kitchen with. Also inside is a real, bona-fide stove and oven (gasp!) and unearthed from the boxes they’ve hidden in the past year are my pans, pots, towels, spices – and sundry other kitchen necessities such as the Alli-Grator (a gift from my brother and homage to my name). I can’t tell you how good this feels, just the simple fact of having a space to do some boring ol’ cooking in.

The new apartment is wonderful, yet for my nagging food photography habit, it needs a little help. The windows all look out onto a Japanese-inspired garden filled with green trees, plants, shrubs, and even rushing waterfalls whose sound fills the space whenever the windows are open. These plants are gorgeous. I love them. And as someone from the desert, I can’t imagine a better view.  But their abundance also means a lot of sunlight is blocked from the windows. Surely come winter, the leaves will have turned gold, red, brown and then fallen off, hopefully leaving a little more room for light to stream in; regardless I think I will need to finally invest in some good artificial lighting if I ever want to take a semi-decent photo in here. I plan on doing so very soon, as I’ve already been cooking whenever my heart desires: I made this chicken piccata again, and these “scone-like” cookies (though I now think they do need a little salt), to name a couple. And even though there was a time I swore I’d never even use it, my Pinterest has been a flurry of activity as I bookmark all the recipes I want to make in the coming months.

All this to say that my blogging bug is definitely not gone, and my cooking one is only stronger now that I, well, have the resources to cook. And I hope in the coming months I can share more here from this (newer) kitchen, once I get an artifical light or two and a few great recipes to share.

almond butter buckeyes

almond butter buckeyes [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Peanut butter buckeyes have always been something I’d seen but not had, due to being a little allergic to peanuts. When I saw this recipe for almond butter buckeyes, I of course jumped at the chance to try them. I’m sure the flavor with almond may be slightly milder than with peanuts, but I think these almond butter buckeyes are a great decadent little treat, like an almond butter Reese’s cup but hand-made.

almond butter buckeyes [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I realize that buckeyes are typically a holiday treat, but I see no reason to have them any time of year. They’re easy to make, no baking required, and each one is so rich that they’ll last a good while in the fridge!

I wish I had one right now to help quell the nervousness I’m feeling about starting a new job tomorrow… though I’m sure by the next time I post here I’ll be settled in and my fears will be gone. Wish me luck and enjoy almond butter buckeyes!

almond butter buckeyes [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Almond Butter Buckeyes
from Food52, author Sarah Jampel
Makes anywhere from 15 to 30 buckeyes, depending on how big you roll them

3/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, as needed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Cream together almond butter and butter until light and a bit airy. Mix in vanilla and stir. In a separate bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon, and pour into the almond butter mixture a LITTLE bit at a time – start with 1 cup and see how dense the mixture becomes after it is thoroughly mixed. If your almond butter is more oily, it may take more sugar to make it firm and rollable, but mine only required about 1 and a quarter cups of sugar. It is ready when it is firm enough to stay together on its own and be rolled into solid balls. Roll into balls about the size of 1-2 tablespoons (to your desired size), and place each onto a parchment lined sheet. Place in the freezer to chill and firm for 20-30 minutes.

After the balls have chilled, in a small bowl, melt your chocolate chips over a double boiler slowly, or in the microwave, microwaving in 20-second bursts, stirring between each burst so that the chocolate cooks evenly. Dip each almond butter ball into the chocolate, and rest them on the baking sheet again. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt (this provides great contrast with the sweet almond/sugar mixture). For easier eating, poke each with a toothpick for serving.

spring asparagus, white bean, and wild rice salad

spring asparagus, white bean, and wild rice salad

Spring is here, grad school is almost over for me, and I can again go outside without feeling like the weather is working against me! I’m excited to be able to cook more and also to hopefully go on more long walks outside. Spring also means I’m ready to eat lighter, and I think this asparagus salad is the perfect way to do that. It’s got the nice crunch of fresh asparagus, a zesty and lemony parmesan bite, and white beans and rice to round it out and make it a little bit hearty. It’s also healthy without even trying. I really love it and think it would be great to bring to picnics or get-togethers.

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