Saturday, November 6, 2010

Egg-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Two or three weeks before Halloween my family (mom and sisters) and I decided to go ahead and buy our candy early. Bad bad idea. I totally went the 'holier-than-thou' route when the first bag of candy was opened, didn't touch any of it, and dirty-eyed whoever I saw chowing down on suckers and Tootsie Rolls. But that bag of Reese's and various chocolates was sitting pretty on top of the shelf and I was home yeah I opened it. A few days before Halloween we only had half a bag of chocolate left and I was craving chocolate and peanut butter 24/7 so to avoid scarfing down more candy, I decided to make some cookies! Plus I had a new peanut butter cookie recipe I wanted to try out, something different than the ones I sell.

I was seriously thinking about peanut butter cookies from the moment I woke up and I was all excited to make my cookies but what did I find in the refrigerator? No eggs! I did take a few minutes to throw a mini-tantrum but you know what? I wanted my cookies so I decided to go egg free. They came out pretty great if I should say so myself!

Egg-Free Peanut Butter Cookies (makes 2 dozen)
Modified from Lovin' From the Oven

o 1 1/4 Cups All-Purpose flour (I used Bread Flour)
o 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
o 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
o 1/2 Teaspoon Salt (I used Kosher Salt)
o 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Softened Unsalted Butter (*can be substituted with Vegetable Shortening or Good Earth to make these cookies vegan)  
o 1 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
o 3/4 Cups Granulated Sugar (you can make it a full cup, I just like my cookies a little less sweet)
o 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
o 1 Cup Peanut Butter (I used creamy but crunchy is also pretty good)
o 1 1/2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease of line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add peanut butter and then vanilla, beat until just incorporated.

4. Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until incorporated.

5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. These cookies only spread a little and they tend to puff up when baking. With either the bottom of a mug or the palm of your hand, flatten the dough just slightly.

6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until tops of cookies just begin to brown.

8. Remove pan from oven, cookies will look sightly undercooked but that's alright. Let the cookies sit on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A new start of sorts

Well long time, no update! Honestly I'm kind of terrible when it comes to the social networking thing (bar twitter and that's pretty recent) which you might've noticed but I've decided to take stab at it. This decision mostly comes from the fact that I've decided to be more proactive when it comes to my passion for baking. For oh I don't know, quite a few years now its been my dream to be a full-time baker. I've kind of just been waiting for things to fall into place really, to become the baker I want to be.

I've been thinking that it would be better to wait until I could get some professional training before I really tried anything. But the more time I spend online (which is a lot let me tell you) reading blogs and such, the more I start to think thats pretty silly of me. There are so many people who've become successful without waiting around for someone to show them how so there isn't any reason why I can't do it too.

Really the main catalyst for my decision to do more with this blog and my baking is because I've recently gone back to school and...haven't been doing too well. Like, abysmally. Thinking about it makes me want to cringe to be honest. I started college when I was sixteen and I did pretty good in the first semester but going back after a couple of years? Motivation was non-existent on the extreme. I realized that this just isn't what I want to be doing right now. I want to experiment. I want to build up my shop. I want to bake. So I've decided that I'm going to teach myself. I went out and bought 'On Baking' and along with the ton of cookbooks on my shelf, I want to put them all to good use.

With this blog I hope to not only be chronicling what goes on in my kitchen but also the process of me trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing when it comes to baking. Sounds fun, right? I know I'm excited!