Now, I know that most people over-indulge a bit during the holidays. I flatter myself, however, that my family knows how to take over-indulgence to the extreme.




I went home to Houston for about 10 days for Christmas, and we baked something new every day. After a few days, it was possible to eat sweets all day long, a different one for each meal (ahem, not that I would ever try that). Although there was a lot of pressure for Sweet Dreams Cookies, I resisted, and we ended up with a mix of oldies and newbies:

I’m noticing a theme here. That’s my sister’s influence: she would put peanut butter in everything if she could.

I have to take a moment and rave about the cake and babka recipes from Smitten Kitchen. Both of them were a bit of work, but mind-blowingly delicious. It kills me to think of how long I’ll have to wait before I have time to make these again. I think I’ll work on scaled-down versions of the recipes, maybe a chocolate peanut butter sheet cake, and one rather than three loaves of the babka.



Ok, back to attainable, real-life recipes. I’m saving up the chocolate peanut butter bars and blondies for a special post for lazy bakers. In the meantime, I present you with a seemingly plain-ol’ cookie recipe. I’ve had a lot of peanut butter cookies in my 24 years of life, but these blew them all out of the water. They melt in your mouth. The original recipe (Smitten Kitchen, and yes, I’m developing a dependency) featured chocolate chips in addition to the peanut butter chips, but I’m a peanut butter purist. I like to add the cinnamon though, so it’s not one-dimensional.


Double Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup chunky natural peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup peanut butter chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter chips.

4. Put the extra sugar on a plate. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough (I used a measuring teaspoon to make sure I kept them small) into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets. Lightly press the balls with a fork, but don’t overly flatten them.


5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Don’t overbake: the cookies will probably seem underdone. Cool the cookies on the sheets for a minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.