Tonight provided the perfect opportunity to begin blogging. Dustin had a few hours of guitar lessons to do, and while he was busy doing that, I had my best friend, Lauren, over for some baking madness. Lauren and I have been best friends since we were 12 years old! She actually just recently moved to Texas from New Hampshire with her fiance, Jason. She and I have been reunited after 2.5 years apart. Needless to say, it is a pretty exciting adventure. What 12 year old wouldn’t love to grow up and live down the street from their best friend in a totally foreign state?!
We have been planning baking/Christmas movie marathons the past few days, and tonight was Day 1. Except for the fact we didn’t actually get to the movie. We were too busy chatting and catching up, which made the time fly by way too fast. We have about 18 movies to get through before Christmas, though, so I guess we better get on that next time.
The baking extravaganza included three different types of cookies:
1. Classic Chocolate Chunk Cookies (recipe courtesy of Food Network)
2. “Perfectly Peanutty” Cookies (recipe courtesy of Bakerella…such an awesome baking website with creative ideas)
3. Brownie cupcakes (adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker’s “Better-than-Brownies” cookies recipe..another great site if you’re craving creative baking ideas)
We started with the Chocolate Chunk cookies, which came out amazing and fluffy. Love big chunk cookies. Spoken from a true Chocoholic. Well, I have a sweet tooth in general.
Next, we made the peanut butter cookies, which we were surprised only had 5 ingredients! Actually the cookies themselves only had 3 ingredients. Not one of which was flour. The two other ingredients were used for a chocolate dipping sauce. It was an interesting experiment to say the least.
The steps were as follows:
1. Prep ingredients:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 oz. Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- 1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts
2. Preheat oven to 325. Mix peanut butter, sugar and egg until well blended.
3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Remove and roll mixture into 18 balls.
5. Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
6. Flatten each ball by using a fork to make a criss-cross pattern.
7. Bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
8. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet and then cool completely on a wire rack.
Chocolate dip and nuts:
1. Melt chocolate.
2. Dip one end of cookie into melted chocolate and then dip into chopped peanuts. Repeat with other side. (The chocolate I melted was way too thin…so it didn’t exactly stick to the cookie. But I will do better next time)
3. Place on wax paper covered cookie sheet and refrigerate until chocolate hardens.
In the end, we created what you see above. A little adaptation of the Bakerella recipe. I have to admit, her cookies looked A LOT prettier. But we gave it our all.
Verdict? They were extremely rich. Delicious, but rich. As in, half a cookie was PLENTY to satisfy. One reason why peanut butter is such a satisfying snack. Next time I’ll require a glass of milk on the side.
Finally, we baked what were supposed to be “better-than-brownie cookies”. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a very thick consistency, so making “cookies” was impossible. We got creative, though, and put the batter into a cupcake pan to create the most delicious brownie-chocolate chunk-cupcakes ever! You gotta do what you gotta do, right?
I had such a great time tonight. Sometimes I can’t believe how you can be apart from someone for so long, but maintain the same, amazing relationship. I guess I have technology to partly thank for that. But mostly, I truly believe we have a special friendship that will last forever. Whether we’re down the street, across the country, or an ocean away. Distance really doesn’t affect us.
Thank you, Lauren, for sticking by me all these years. You truly become a best friend to nearly every one you meet. You are an amazing, compassionate, and beautiful human being with the potential to be, do, and have anything you want in life. Never lose your wonderful optimism and contagious sense of humor. Everyone needs one of you in their life! 🙂