Magical words spoken by the allergist this week: “You know, I don’t think she’s actually allergic to any of these foods. I’m not even going to give her a skin test. I think it was just eczema. You can feed her whatever you want to.” Hurray! Let’s make peanut butter cookies! Um, after we finish of those two tubs of cookies from Trader Joe’s, I mean.
While we do certainly make a lot of cookies here, and we try to go for variety, if we’re wanting some cookies now, we make these chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. They were originally from an “Everyday Food” magazine, I think. My mom gave me the recipe. I can’t find it online.
Here’s what I do know: they’re flourless, and butterless. They mix up so quickly that I’m often waiting for the oven to preheat fully when the cookies are ready to go in. And they make one batch of cookies — that is, two cookie-sheets-full, which is a nice small size, so you’re not overwhelmed with cookies, or with spending an hour at the stove swapping out cookie sheets (of course, sometimes I want to be overwhelmed with cookies, but that’s a different story). But these are, without a doubt, the cookies we make most often.
Here is my slightly-adapted recipe:
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 350, with racks in the upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup chunky peanut butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 large egg (lightly beaten), 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp. salt until well combined. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
2. With moistened hands, roll dough, about 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, into balls. Place the balls 2 inches apart on two baking sheets.
3. Bake until cookies are golden and puffed, 12 to 14 minutes (rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking). Cool 5 minutes on sheets, and then transfer to racks to cool completely. Makes 24 cookies.
What better time to try a new cookie than at a solstice party (even if it was the zillionth rainy day in a row)? (Ok, I realize that this is yet again just a ridiculous justification for cookie baking.) We were going to Marcus and Lisa‘s for a solstice party, and I’d promised to bring cookies, so we whipped up a batch of peanut butter whoopie pies, which were a lot easier than I thought they were going to be. I was surprised that they actually puffed up into the proper little cakey cookies, and I was sure everything was going to fall to pieces when I spread on the peanut butter filling, but all held just fine. I got the recipe from a Martha Stewart Cookie magazine that came out a few Decembers ago; you can see the recipe here. Yum! Enjoy! Definitely more festive than regular old chocolate chip cookies (which had been my original plan).
Can you believe it? Wasn’t I just pregnant yesterday? (Let’s take a moment to be so incredibly thankful that I’m not pregnant anymore. There. Ah.)
But here she is, a year later, my Flag Day baby, one year old! Really, it does seem like just two seconds ago when I was telling everyone that yes, I was ten days overdue, and no, I wasn’t going to be induced, and yes, I was fine, and was glad she was taking her time, really, because we hadn’t even set up her crib yet. And then there we were with me in labor and dropping Henry and Eli off at Sutswana’s and thinking I’d see them again in like half an hour because Eli was born in roughly five seconds. But apparently the third kid is the surprise toss-up, labor-wise. Zuzu thought it was maybe more important for Dave and I to have a nice Saturday to ourselves talking about siding (that’s right! I spent part of my labor discussing siding colors with Dave) and kindergarten readiness and food. I also spent a lot of time talking about, “WHEN IS THIS BABY COMING??” but that’s to be expected. And then after nine hours I’d had enough and went like the Mama Cat into the shower and told everyone to get out. Until I was suddenly screaming for everyone to COME BACK NOW and what seemed like thirty people ran in just in time to catch Zuzu, born in the shower. My very slippery surprise water birth girlie.
And yes, well, as you know, she is my only girl after two boys. And so on her birthday I give you some new photos of her with my funny girl hairdo experimentations. I am excited to play with her hair, but she doesn’t have much, and frankly I’m not sure what I’m doing yet.
And here’s the look we’re all just calling “the fountain.” It’s a tad Ed Grimley (including her facial expression), but it sure does illicit lots of comments when we go out.
Sutswana commented that she likes that Zuzu doesn’t curl her fingers around when she sucks her thumb. I think it’s because she’s been anticipating The Fountain. So it’s like the directive is: Ponytail: UP! Back of hair: UP! Fingers: UP!
Happy birthday, Zu!
This combo has been doing it for Eli lately:
- one cup milk
- scoop plain yogurt
- scoop chunky peanut butter
- one banana
- two ice cubes
- squirt of chocolate syrup
I forgive the chocolate syrup because, well, I’m scarfing back the dark chocolate all day long, so I understand him his chocolate needs, but also because it’s a small, small part of an otherwise power-packed smoothie. Blend it all in a blender, drink. It’s very milkshakey and one of those things that makes kids think they’re getting dessert for breakfast.
As I’ve mentioned, I don’t make anything especially fancy-pants for lunches here, mostly since I make them 10 minutes before I go to bed, and I’m worrying much more about the allergy-free ingredients that I’m putting into the lunchboxes and less about what the actual foodstuffs are. But whatever I’m doing, it was enough to get accolades.
I’ll admit that I’m pretty out of it when it comes to what Everyone Else is doing in terms of parenting. I’m barely just treading water here with what we’re doing; I don’t really have time to figure out what Pop Parenting says I should be doing. I will say, though, that the food items the Neighborhood Posse brings into my backyard are so horrifying that I’m beginning to see why a handful of walnuts and a piece of provolone (Henry’s actual lunch today) are noteworthy. First, there’s the brother and sister who apparently eat nothing but candy. They have brought over candy necklaces and candy bracelets, and cups of marshmallows (seriously). Once the sister came over with chocolate all over her face, and when I asked her what she’d been eating, she said she’d had chocolate for breakfast. During the summer they came over with those Fla-Vor-Ice popsicles, and gave one to Eli (it was a turquoise blue one), who excitedly took a big bite, and then looked very frightened and stuck his tongue out of his mouth yelling, “Get it out, Mommy! Get it out!” I had to scrub his tongue with a towel before he’d calm down.
Some other kids brought over some of that yogurt-in-a-tube, and left the wrappers lying around (the Neighborhood Posse has a littering problem), and so I got to see that the yogurt was cotton candy flavored.
Once I announced that I was making peanut butter sandwiches (in a desperate attempt to get some kind of protein/fiber food into these kids) and many of them said they loved peanut butter sandwiches. So I made about a million, and Eli and Henry were the only ones who ate them. One boy looked all disappointed and said, “Um, I don’t like this peanut butter sandwich.” I’m such an idiot…if you’ve spent your life eating sugary Jif on white bread, my little Teddie All Natural Super Chunky Unsalted (ingredient: roasted peanuts) on whole wheat bread is going to seem like a big hunk of lentil loaf. During the peanut butter sandwich picnic, one girl had gone home to ask her mom if she could eat one of my sandwiches. The mom obviously felt bad about me feeding everyone, so she gave her daughter something to eat…the girl came back to our backyard munching on a Smuckers Uncrustable, which is the dumbest take on a peanut butter sandwich I’ve seen (how hard is it to make a sandwich? who needs to buy pre-made frozen sandwiches?).
By far the most disgusting thing, though, was when some of them were drinking Sunny D in our yard, and (of course) left their empties behind. I read the ingredients and was staggeringly disgusted to see that canola oil is an ingredient. I can’t for the life of me imagine why oil is an acceptable ingredient in a “juice” that barely has any juice in it anyway.
With this post, I have officially become my mother, the original Label-Reading Food Policewoman.
Sometimes I get fixated on some kid craft that I feel like we have to do, or we’re not properly celebrating the season or whatever. Last year it was a gingerbread house (stay tuned next month, I’m sure another one is in the works, against my better judgment), this year it was peanut butter birdseed pinecones. I bought the cheap peanut butter and birdseed weeks ago, and the pinecones have been collecting on our picnic table, blowing around in the wind, and carefully being regathered on the picnic table by me. No one cared. Henry sort of seemed into it, but it wasn’t what he wanted to do when he got home. (more…)
Last week we made the owl cookies from Handmade Detroit (via Craftzine). I am usually not a fan of cookies that call for refrigeration, but in this case it worked out well, because there was some kind of kid meltdown and we ended up making the dough and then not making the cookies for a few days. Not only are the cookies adorable, but they’re chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies, which I’d eat if they were shaped like something not nearly as cute as owls (chocolate peanut butter oatmeal slug cookies, say). The boys had a great time adding eyes and beaks. The only glitch was that I totally overcooked them, since I was thinking they were going to spread like in the photo, but they didn’t really spread at all. (Dave later told me that if cookies are going to spread, they’ll do it right after going into the oven, and so cooking them for longer waiting for spread doesn’t make any sense. Why didn’t I know this?)