Tuesday, August 30, 2011
When faced with the possibility of a hurricane hitting your beloved city and potentially knocking out power to your refrigerator, it would probably be prudent to cook or bake something that makes use of the food that would spoil if the power goes out. Instead, I made cookies. True, I used up some butter and eggs, but the rest of the ingredients would have weathered the storm just fine. The chocolate especially.
But, having never experienced a hurricane before, I thought more about Hollywood-inspired images of hurricanes and tornados. In the imaginary hurricane in my head, bits and pieces of Manhattan would be swirling past my window. So, I made cookies with lots of bits and pieces of chocolate, pretzels, and candy bars.
Serve on the stack of movies you plan to watch while cooped up for two days, with a glass of the milk you should probably drink before you lose power.
These cookies are designed to be chunky, with lots of texture from both salty and sweet ingredients. Below I've listed them as "dry" bits & pieces and "sweet" bits & pieces. This time around I used oats, pretzels and various candy, but I'd encourage you to experiment with whatever you have on hand. Potato chips, Goldfish crackers, leftover Halloween candy, or anything that sounds like it might fly past your window if a hurricane hit your kitchen.
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt (use a little less if you use salty ingredients like pretzels)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
2 cups "dry" bits & pieces (I used 1 cup of oats and 1 cup crushed pretzels)
12 ounces of sweet bits & pieces (I used a mixture of dark chocolate chunks, milk chocolate, Reese's peanut butter cups, and Snickers)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the butter and peanut butter until well combined. Add both sugars and cream until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and mix well. In a separate bowl, stir the baking soda into the flour. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until combined. Add the rest of the flour and mix until mostly incorporated. Don't worry if you can still see bits of flour in the dough, it'll get mixed in when you add the bits & pieces.
Add the nuts, the dry bits & pieces and the sweet bits & pieces. Mix by hand. Drop by the tablespoon onto a cookie sheet and bake. 10-12 minutes for very soft cookies, or 13-15 minutes for golden brown cookies with a crisp edge and chewy center.