I wasn't much older than Brianna (who is now 7 1/2) when I started making my own lunch for school. When I started complaining about what was in my lunch, my mom basically said that if I didn't like what she made, I could make it myself. =) The main point of contention? I don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Never have. On the occasions that I ended up with one, I'd take the sandwich apart and put the peanut butter with peanut butter and jelly with jelly (the sandwiches were cut in halves or quarters). To this day, while I will eat peanut butter, I don't usually go out of my way to make stuff with it. So Brianna and Gillian haven't had much exposure to it, especially since it's not allowed at daycare (in case of peanut allergies).
For some strange reason, though, I've been on a real peanut butter kick lately. Especially peanut butter with chocolate. I bought a pint of Ben & Jerry's peanut butter cup ice cream. I made these chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies. I made milk chocolate peanut butter ganache for B & G to use as fondue (which I had to sample of course--quality control!). I bought a bag of peanut butter m&ms. And I made this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Peanut Butter Crisscrosses. The recipe was picked by Jasmine of Jasmine Cuisine. I love simple cookies like these--easy to make, and they work great for stuff like lunches.
I almost never get out my mixer when I'm making cookies, especially drop ones like these. For some reason, I just love mixing them by hand. I also don't like cakey cookies, and mixing by hand keeps me from adding too much air. I was going to make the full batch, but when I looked at the quantity of ingredients, I realized I would end up with a whole lot of cookies, so I went with half. First you cream together butter and peanut butter, then add granulated and light brown sugars. Next comes an egg, then dry ingredients--all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and a bit of nutmeg. The recipe calls for chopped peanuts to be added at the end. I don't usually have peanuts on hand, and I know the girls don't like nuts in their cookies. So I substituted peanut butter chips--how can you go wrong with more peanut butter? I used my #40 disher to scoop the dough onto parchment-lined sheet pans. I wasn't sure how easy it would be to make the crisscrosses with the chips in there, so on the first pan I experimented--I did half with crisscrosses and half without. For the ones I did mark, I dipped the fork in sugar first to help the crisscrosses hold their shape. Leslie gave me a tip to shorten the baking time slightly for chewier cookies, so I baked mine for 11 minutes. I ended up with 26 cookies from my half-batch.
The verdict? These cookies were a big hit with all who tried them. I kind of wish I'd made the full batch. The texture was great, thanks to the brown sugar in the dough and the shorter baking time. Brianna seemed to enjoy them in her lunch last week. So far she hasn't complained too much about what I've put in there, so I haven't told her to make her own lunch yet. =) As for the crisscrosses, they only sort of held their shape. I liked the unmarked ones just as much, so I may go the lazy route in the future and skip the fork. I'll definitely be making these again.
If you'd like to try these for yourself, you can find the recipe on Jasmine's blog. And be sure to check out this week's Links to see what everyone else thought of these. While you're there, also take a look at the new group forming to cook & bake through Dorie's new book!