November 23, 2009

Cookie, Cookie

It's that time of year again. Cookie Time.

Several years ago, right after Kurt and I got married, we went to Austria to visit his family for Christmas. Auntie Hilde is the consummate hostess. Like magic, drinks, snacks, nibbles and treats would appear at hand the moment we'd sit down. Her specialty? Holiday cookies. She had made batches and batches and then, yes, more batches of every kind of cookie you could imagine-- thumbprint jam cookies, bars, chocolate confections and any number of others that I don't know the name for. We ate LOTS.

Since then, I've always had this vision in my head of preparing ahead of time several different varieties for the holidays and making up plates of the cornucopia to hand out to friends and neighbors.

What I end up with, though, is a small stack of chocolate chip cookies and a pan full of fudge. Apparently that is all I can make easily. Well, those and, of course, my favorite cookie of all time, the chocolate peanut butter cookie.

The recipe comes off the back of the Reese's chip bag, but I don't care if it's mainstream and generic. It's GOOD. And as appetizing and lovely to the eye as a platter of jewel like treats may be, I'm just as happy to settle for a box of these and call it a day.

Here, I spread the joy (please note, these are NOT super-duper-health-nut-good-for-you cookies. That would defeat the purpose entirely):

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baker's cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together dry ingredients. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, then add eggs and vanilla. Gradually add in flour mixture, beating well until completely mixed (the dough will be thick). Gently fold in chips. Drop rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheet. Cook for 8-9 minutes. DO NOT overbake- cookies will be soft, puff while baking and flatten slightly while cooling. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen.

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