Sunday, May 8, 2011

Moms and Memories

Happy Mother's Day! I hope everyone was lucky enough to celebrate their mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law this weekend. My mother and grandmother asked for a lobster feast on Saturday and my mother-in-law requested a family cookout today. It's been a good end to a very busy week.

Last post I told you that we have a new house. This week has been about meeting with the mortgage lender, work meeting after meeting, classes (for a quick late spring course I've had more work in this one than any other), pant shopping with grandma, drive-bys of our new house (yes, we're stalking it), and considering new paint colors. 

I also saw that a house that I had fallen in love with in our old town is for sale! I loved the location, colors, design, everything about that house. Alas, it's being sold for almost 1 million dollars, just a little out of our price range :). I did enjoy looking at the pictures of the inside of it online. It even gave us some color ideas for our new house.

The recipe for this week reminds me of my great grandmother. She would make peanut butter cookies and always remembered to put the crisscross on top. I can't help but think of her this weekend. A lot of my memories of her are about food and country television. I'd sleepover her apartment, we'd watch CMT or a detective show, and have all sorts of foods from fried potatoes to cold green beans. Everything always tasted so good from that frying pan. I'd drink my sugar filled drink from a cow cup (I can't even describe this cup with it's cow head cover, but it was my favorite and I still have it), and watch her make up something I'd knew I'd like. Missing you great grandma!

Peanut Butter Cookies
from flour by Joanne Chang (Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups chunky peanut butter
2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stop the mixture a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter and sugar.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and paddle again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

On medium-low speed, beat in the peanut butter for another 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. On low speed add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix just until dry ingredients are totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.
For the best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3 to 4 hours) before baking.

When you are ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Drop the dough in 1/4 - cup balls onto a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand. Use a fork to create the traditional crisscross pattern on the top of each cookie.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and still pale and slightly soft in the center. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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