Monday, December 5, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I read a story somewhere about a woman who, for her 38th birthday, completed 38 random acts of kindness to celebrate.  She did things like taping change to a soda machine, handing out bottles of water to random joggers, and buying a gift card at the grocery store and turning around and handing it to the woman behind her in line.  

I absolutely love that idea!  It would certainly give me a more productive outlet for my energy than meticulously planning my next haircut/color (brownish auburn and side bangs?) and watching just an obscene amount of netflix.  But I don't think I need to wait for my birthday to start doing things like that.  And although the "type A" side of my brain starts twitching violently at the thought of starting something like this on a random day in December (that part of my brain would have preferred starting Dec. 1 and making it a neatly book-ended, month-long endeavor), I think I should start now.  And I don't think I should count bringing in baked goods to work as an act of kindness.

Because now that Cookie Month is humming away at top speed (like some sort of delicious machine running on butter,sugar, eggs and Christmas cheer...), I do that almost every day.  So much so that it's no longer even considered an act of kindness.  And frankly I think some people are starting to dislike it a little...people who do things like "juice cleanse" or "paleo diet" or "low carb" types of situations.  If any of you guys are reading this...that's awesome that you do that and I am probably just jealous of your discipline.  Come to think of it, I should probably be doing some or all of those things...but who starts that now?  This is literally the worst time of year to try something like that.  That's what New Year's is for.

Truthfully I've never been much on New Year's.  I want to be, I wish I was, but what's it all about anyway?  To me, all it signifies is the end of Christmas, too much drinking, and the beginning of a diet.  None of those are things I get overly excited about.

What I do get excited about is that oh-so-magical combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  Throw oatmeal into the mix, and I am on board.

The obligatory Cricket-gazing-longingly-at-my-cookies shot...
So is Cricket.  These are different cookies than last time, but the same forlorn look in those hungry little puppy eyes.  What a mooch.

Here you go.  Make these.  Make them for people who don't like raisins in their oatmeal cookies.  Make them for your peanut butter and chocolate lovers.  Make them for your peanut butter-phobic husband while he's sleeping to subconsciously help him overcome his fears.  Make them for your coworkers...they'll probably love it as long as you don't overdo it like I do.  Plus, added bonus, it could count as your random act of kindness for the day!  As for me, I'll have to keep brainstorming.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(from Baker's, full credit to them for this recipe, it is unimprovable)

1 cup flour 
1 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
6 squares semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375.  Stir together flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream butter, sugars, and peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla, mixing until combined.  

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture gradually, beating well after each addition.  Stir in chocolate.  

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake about 11 minutes until very lightly browned.  Remove from oven, allow to sit on baking sheet 1 minute before removing to wire cooling rack.

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