Two years ago, my kids moved out to attend college. I’ve mailed quite a few care packages during that time and could probably qualify as a packaging expert, if there were such a test. (I’m sure there is one at UPS, but brown really isn’t my color.) At first, I went a little overboard with what I sent, and probably paid more for shipping than what the contents were actually worth. Although homemade cookies are priceless, right?
After a little trial and error, I’ve learned to maximize the gifts in the minimal amount of space. Gift cards to movie theaters, restaurants and sporting goods stores are very much appreciated and workout t-shirts and shorts are great substitutes for bubble wrap. Which leaves plenty of room for homemade cookies, favorite snacks and disposable razors. Why are those damn things so expensive? Fortunately, I have a Costco membership, so they should have enough razors to last them until graduation.
When I was a kid, my Mom made these cookies a lot. This is the recipe she used and I’m not sure of its original developer, but whoever you are, thank you. If I’m making these just for my daughter, then I’ll throw in a cup of milk chocolate chips and leave off the criss cross pattern, for a cookie similar in taste to a Reese’s cup.
Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes 2 dozen
½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter (room temp)
½ cup (145 g) creamy peanut butter
½ cup (110 g) sugar
½ cup (110 g) brown sugar
1 egg (room temp)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups (175 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon (2 g) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
½ teaspoon (3 g) salt
Mix butter and peanut butter until well combined. Add sugars and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract. Scrap down sides of bowl and mix until well combined.
Whisk dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add to peanut butter mixture until well combined. Cover mixing bowl and chill for at least 1 hour.
TIP: If I have to refrigerate batter before baking, I will write the oven temperature and time to bake in Sharpie. This way I don’t have to pull out the laptop to look up the recipe again.
Preheat oven to 350º. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray. Use a small scoop or spoon about 1 Tablespoon (25 g) of batter into a ball and place onto baking sheet. Space cookies about 2″ apart. Put about 1/4 cup flour into a small bowl and press fork into flour and make criss cross pattern on each cookie.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Enjoy!