Grandma’s Peanut Butter Cookies

Happy Mother’s Day!

In celebration of mother everywhere I decided to make my Grandmother’s peanut butter cookies.  I remember as a kid sitting down at their table with a cookie and a glass of milk, the milk was a must, and biting into a cookie and the way it absorbed all the moisture in my mouth and melted.  Yum.

These cookies are not quite my grandmother’s since I used regular flour instead of rice flour (she had to follow a gluten-free diet for health reasons).  So the taste is not quite the same, but still close enough to bring memories of my grandmother’s warm smile to mind.

Grandma’s Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose or rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl cream peanut butter, butter & sugars until mixture is light and fluffy.  Add flours, baking powder, vanilla & egg; beat until smooth.  Drop batter by tablespoon about 3 inches apart on a nonstick cookie sheet.  Flatten criss-cross style with a fork dipped in rice flour.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool on sheet before removing.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Now I don’t want to seem judgmental, but I’ve noticed something that bothers me about society today.  We’re sometimes too conscious about food.  Food-snobs, diets, fads.  They drive me a little nuts.

Now I must admit, I am blessed to be a thin individual.  It does help that a lot of my work backstage keeps me active and rarely sitting behind a desk for hours on end.  I’ve done mini diets, often after holiday seasons full of cookies, to shed a few extra pounds.  But some diets and attitudes towards food I just don’t get.  What I’ve always been taught is eat in moderation, but eat.  Have a treat every now and then, a little bit of chocolate when you really want it often satisfies a craving that may leave you grumpy or end up eating everything in your pantry.

These cookies I made aren’t something that you should apologize for eating one… or a whole plate.  Really, don’t apologize for eating to me at all, I like feeding people.  They are delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, and have protein (a little bit but it still counts).  The recipe is from Joy The Baker and it’s gluten-free!

Almond Sugar Cookies

While killing time between rehearsal and a performance I wandered into Williams & Sonoma, I had been thinking about getting a new spatula for a while and discovered a Darth Vader spatula.  R and I decided it was too cute to pass up on.  I giggled and quoted “Come to the dark side… we have cookies” while R said “cooo-kie” in Darth Vader like breaths.

To break in the new spatula I made an alteration on the Sesame Sugar Cookies, a darker cousin.  Almond Sugar Cookies, they are much richer, lack the crispness of the sesames but the almonds add a moisture to the cookies and a smoky, woody taste.   The white chocolate frosting adds a touch of sweetness without being to indulgent.

Toasted Almond Sugar Cookies
(makes about 6 dozen)

2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond slivers
2 ounces white chocolate, melted

Spread the almond slivers on a cookie sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until evenly toasted.  Let cool in a paper towel to absorb moisture.  Then grind until you have a crumb-like consistency.

Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  In a large bowl beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add brown sugar, beat until well blended (make sure to break up the clumps).  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour mixture and 1/4 cup of toasted almonds.

Refrigerate dough approximately 2 hours or until firm.  Shape into balls.  Roll in remaining toasted almonds.  Place on greased baking sheets.

Bake in a 400 degree oven 6 to 8 minutes or until bottoms are a medium brown.  Cool completely.  Drizzle melted white chocolate over cookies.  Let chocolate set.  Enjoy!

Sesame Seed Sugar Cookies

I found this recipe in a magazine that was used in a show.  An actor cut out letters from the magazine to glue together into a ransom note, each evening I would pull out the cut up pages.  Tried my hand at the recipe today and it was a success.

While sugar cookies are often not my favorite kind of cookie these had a simplicity that is very satisfying.  The sesame seeds adds an dynamic taste and crunch to a regular sugar cookie.  I drizzled Ghirardelli Chocolate over them, with the help of R.  My first attempt at heating the chocolate I burnt it by accident.  Then R got a snack back, placed the chocolate in it and submerged it in the pot of hot water.  The snack bag made it much easier to drizzle the chocolate across and even allowed R to monogram the cookies so each of my roommates had a designated cookie.