Good god, when did it become Thanksgiving? I seem to distinctly remember my cousin toppling into my birthday cake in July, for the love of criminy!
Anyway, be that as it may, Thanksgiving for my family usually means me and my sister working while Mom and my other sister work on the food. Typically I don't even eat downstairs; I hide from the Younglings in my bedroom. However, despite my schedule deeming it necessary to work 12:30-5:30, I wanted to do my part.
And by 'my part', I mean 'make cookies'.
Of course, if my Mom doesn't relinquish the tin, I'm going to have to remake them before Thursday...
Anyway. Rather than go to my go-to gals over at Bakingdom and Bakerella, I recently started to read up on a little corner of the internet called Brown Eyed Baker. I knew that whatever cookie I made, I wanted my dad Jerry to like them. And he's pretty picky; no full on chocolate, no weird flavors...
So I went for the go-to flavor in our household: Peanut Butter Cookies. I went with BEB's Peanut Butter recipe, following her post to the tee (shortening, no greasing the pan, etc!). And you know what? This time, there were no burnt cookies.
No oven messups.
No mad dash for ingredients.
Fellow food lovers, I have attained Baking Nirvana today. Everything flowed so smoothly. Right down to the execution, for god's sakes. I'm convinced a black cat is going to fall on my face in the near future, but whatever! On to the baking!
First, the dry team. Let me pause right here and say before reading blogs and watching shows that strictly say do these things separately, I have never done dry ingredients separately from the wet. I usually follow my friend's Devious Baker method of throwing everything into a bowl and hoping it works.
I began to separate, though, and I love the results. I really do. Maybe you won't notice a difference; maybe you'll see it as another bowl to wash. But it makes executing the mixing of dry-to-wet so much easier, so I'm going with it. Even with my Younger Sister proclaiming my methods "weird".
Anyway. The dry team consists of pretty basic ingredients: Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt.
And now the wet team! (Yes, that's brown sugar in there; yes, it counts as wet, shut up.) This was simple enough; brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, milk, and Crisco--
Wait. Hold the presses. Crisco?
See, like I said, I followed BEB to the letter. And she explicitly says that trying this with butter just didn't turn out right. I will probably try butter just to see, but since I have 12+ people showing up for Thanksgiving, I wanted my cookies to knock it out of the park, so I didn't tempt fate with a substitution.
Just swallow your fear of shortening and do it. Trust me.
After some quick blending, we add an egg. Then some more mixing. And then flour, then more mixing. (I'm really grateful for our hand mixer at this point, not going to lie...) Then, finally, it is time to move them to the baking sheet.
I've recently discovered that this baking sheet? It's at least partially responsible for my Nirvana-of-baking today. My Mom has this ancient baking sheet that's burned, caked on, burned even more... It's survived at least two world wars and numerous horrific baking experiments.
So when I got this one from my Dad? I was in love. Especially when the cookies came out. You see, this pan plus the parchment paper seems to be good luck for me.
Rather than burnt, or even worse, hard and impossible to eat? My cookies came out flawless. Flawless.
Like I said, right now, as I type this post, my Mom's down there noshing on them with my Dad, so I might have to make them again. But if the results are the same? I'm sort of okay with that.
I encourage you all to try this recipe. If not for thanksgiving, then down the line. And speaking of thanksgiving... Have a good one, folks.