Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Heart PB Cookies

One morning, about a week into the New Year, the paralegal in my office said someone just dropped this off for you.  She went on to say that she was out of the office and did not see who it was.  What was dropped off was a bag of flour, marked with the name of the same locality I work for.  The note of the bag said “This is the flour we discussed.  It is the best.  Enjoy.”  It also contained some cryptic name inscribed on the note, of which I could not read.  I did not know who this person was.

I proceed to ask the paralegal 101 questions, but she did not know who it was.  I racked my brain for about 10 minutes regarding every baking conversation I have ever had with someone I worked with.  I came up with nothing.  I set the bag of flour on my desk and left it there to sit.  No offense to whomever this mystery person was, but I do not use ingredients from strangers.  I do not know what they could have possibly done to it.

After leaving it in my office over night, the next day the culprit identified himself because he wanted to make sure I would not waste the flour.  The flour was a gift from my boss’s wife.  She saw the locality-named flour and thought that I could use it.  My boss, ever the prankster, played the little joke on me.  But I got the last laugh because the flour did not come home with me until I could determine its giver.

Anyway, have you ever seen that movie Stranger than Fiction with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Will Ferrell?  At one point when Will’s character is trying to woo Maggie’s character, he presents her with flours (not flowers).  Yes, different kinds of flour.  Maggie’s character was the owner and operator of a bakery.  Watch it!  Though the premise of the movie is a little fuzzy to my memory, that scene is ever present.  A man wooing with flours has the key to my heart!  The mysterious flour instance made me think of one of my favorite movie scenes, though it is wholly unrelated to this post and the situation in which the flour is presented.  I just thought I would share (Mr. R out there, take note :-)

I decided to go old school with this flour, and make the Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe off the side of the flour bag.  Old school peanut butter cookie recipe means shortening instead of butter.  I had to really talk myself in to this change because you know how I feel about butter.  I did want to dress up these cookies with a peanut buttery punch, and added Reese’s peanut butter hearts to the top, pressed it into the cookie right after they came out the oven.

These cookies were nice the first day, but I found that they tasted better a day or two later.  They maintain their freshness, softness, and yumminess inordinately longer than most cookies, probably due to the shortening.  I cannot say I am converted to shortening, but I can definitely see the benefit of using it.

Old School Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe from the Flour Bag sharing the same name as the locality which I work for, which I will not state here for anonymity sake.

1 cup Shortening (I used Butter flavored Crisco)
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs (or Egg Replacer)
3 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla

“Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Combine flour, soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture; blend. Add vanilla; mix. Roll dough into balls. Place on baking sheet. Flatten with a fork. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes.”

I rolled dough balls in organic sugar before baking and I did not flatten them with a fork. Upon coming out the oven, I pressed a Reese’s peanut butter heart (unwrapped and directly from the freezer) into the center of each one. Let cool completely before moving as the heart will distort if not allowed to set-up before moving.

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