Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Warm Up to Petit Peanut Butter Chocolate Drops

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
“If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
Bill Watterson
Back in the seventies, I hitched and hiked with my Lhasa/Maltese. We found each other in Seattle and traveled south to the gulf states and up north to Quebec. It was an unforgettable experience and I felt like a fish out of water. The sophisticated locals spoke fluent French (I did not). The street signs looked foreign and the metric system on food labels confused me. I was lost. At night, I recall sleeping on the lot of a huge Victorian-style home--but we slept in my sleeping bag outside in the backyard. It was so cold. I fantasized about walking up to the front door and saying: "Hello I'm from California" and imagined the homeowners would invite me in for a homecooked meal and warm bed. It didn't happen. We made due with what I had in my backpack. I ate peanut butter and whole wheat bread; my pooch ate generic dog food. And we snuggled throughout the long, lonely cold night air for warmth and companionship...

Tonight in a warm living room with my two canines and one cat, I'm watching Food Network... I'm waiting for my French-style cookie dough to chill so I can roll 'em into petit drops. These tiny cookies remind me of Tahoe mountain peaks in autumn without snow. These Petit Peanut Butter cookies make me feel warm and cozy at home. The bonus: Peanut butter contains heart healthy resveratrol (like red wine) and monounsaturated fat (like good for you super health food olive oil).

Petit Peanut Butter Chocolate Drops
1 1/4-1/2 cups all natural whole wheat flour (more than less if you live in high altitude)
1 brown egg
1/2 cup all natural crunchy peanut butter (mix well)
1/2 cup European Style butter
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
gourmet dark chocolate chips, 72% cacao

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, soda, and powder. In another bowl, cream butters, sugars (the more white granulated sugar you use, the crispier the cookie), and beaten egg. Combine the two mixtures and add vanilla and olive oil. Chill for a few to several hours. Take out of fridge. Roll petite balls of dough and place on cookie sheet (it works better without parchment paper). Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or till golden brown. Once out of the oven put two chocolate chips on the thumbprint cookies. Makes about two dozen (depending on size of drop)...
I like the mix of sugars in these peanut butter cookies because they're crisp and light not heavy or chewy. And the dark chocolate is a nice chocolatey touch. The EVOO and European Style butter makes me feel both earthy and faraway from the Golden State--even though I'm homebound in a house filled with a heavenly cinnamon aroma. I'm home. I'm not on the road. I'm home with my two Brittanys with French roots who don't speak French. And they are warm, cuddled up next to each other on the sofa. Cookie?

1 comment:

  1. Caution: Freeze or give these to friends/family. Thinking more cooking than baking for the next week or two. And, maybe back to eating dark chocolate (that zaps sweet cravings) and creating more veggie/grains dishes. This is the only way you can maintain a petite size. Now I know why so many chefs tilt the scales. Just watched Paula make fudge and other goodies. Too much is too much. Taking a baking all sweets vacation.