21 December 2009

Thank you, Norma

After the last post about Aunt Joan's Molasses Crinkles, I got a note from an old college professor, Norma Wilson.

Norma probably has more special meaning to me than she even knows. She was the one who encouraged me to apply for a position on the campus newspaper staff. In her writing lab I learned things I'd never heard of before like search engines (come on folks, it was 1998) and how to turn an interview into a written piece. It sounds so silly writing this that these would be things someone would teach you, but she did. And out of all of my college professors, I rank her up there pretty high in terms of the skills she taught me, both about newspapers and life.

I did land that job at the campus newspaper, but most importantly, I met this guy who work there who was nerdy cute with his glasses and huge sideburns. Turns out I must have been nerdy cute to him, too. We dated, moved across the country together, got married and are living happily (yes, we have our bad days, but give us some perspective, folks) ever after.

Norma, I thank you.

But I also thank her for reminding me that one year I brought her some of my mom's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. In that note she sent last week, she told me that she still makes them every year at Christmas. So perhaps my cookie recipe will offer up some of what I owe her. Of course, I do hope a heavy dose of gratitude settles my debt.

My mother has made these cookies for as far back as I can remember. I've seen similar versions with chocolate kisses, but I've not seen anyone else create this combination. If you like peanut butter and chocolate, you can't go wrong. My mom always made them with the store-bought refrigerated cookie dough that comes in logs. That made it super easy to bake the cookies. I can't seem to find peanut butter cookie dough at the store any more, so I made my own. The only special tool you need is a mini-muffin tin.

The one thing you need to know is that you need all of your peanut butter cups unwrapped before the cookies come out of the oven. And be careful, it's hard not to eat one or two while you unwrap a few dozen!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Cookie Dough recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book

makes two dozen

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Wax paper

24 Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds or until combined. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Beat until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Slowly add flour, combining as you go. Lay a large sheet of wax paper flat and dump the dough onto the paper. Using the paper to keep your hands from sticking to the dough, roll the dough into a log roughly 12 to 14 inches long. Chill for one hour or freeze for later use. Using a non-stick spray, coat your mini-muffin tin. Slice the dough into roughly 3/4-inch discs. Quarter each disc and drop one of those quarters into each muffin hole. Bake at 375 degrees for about 7 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and immediately stuff the unwrapped peanut butter cups into the middle of each cookie, leaving the entire cookie in the tin. Let the cookies rest for about 15 minutes and then carefully remove them from the tin and place on a cooling rack. Either refrigerate or let stand uncovered long enough for the chocolate in the cookies to harden once again. Store in an airtight container.

1 comment:

Kim Blau said...

These are heavenly. Thanks for sharing the cookies and the recipe!
Merry Christmas!