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Baking Cookies Cookies

Apparently it DOES Take a Village!

August 16, 2019

I am three weeks behind on my blogging, but forgive me. I had a birthday to celebrate and just kept thinking, I’ll cook when it cools off. But so far Saturday is looking like a chilly 86, so it’s going to be Costco chickens for a while.

If we were meant to cook in summer:

a. It wouldn’t be so stinking hot and,

b. Rotisserie chickens would have never been invented.

The day started with a visit from my mother in the form of a butterfly in the front yard. (To understand that, you’ll have to read this older story about my mom, called, “A Pooty Butterfly.”

But I did try a Peanut Butter Cookie with Butterscotch Ganache Drizzle that was quite perfect, which I’ll get to after I share my birthday surprise story.

I got to spend the day with my kids, which is all I ever want for a birthday gift. We started the day with breakfast out, then rode the swan boats in Echo Park, then went to dinner at a fabulous restaurant called Republique. The coolest part was one of my son’s friends from elementary school works there as a chef now. A chef! (I hold chefs in the same esteem my mom used to hold the Pope.)

Adrian, all grown up and an amazing chef!

What a thrill to go there and see a kid I watched grow up, working behind the counter of this fabulous restaurant, making dishes that blew me away. Now I’ll be totally intimidated if I ever cook for him again!

But he told me this little story during our quick visit with him: When I met Adrian, he was probably 11 or 12, and would barely speak to us, which made me feel bad because most kids will talk your ear off. I didn’t remember this, but once when he was visiting, I apparently asked him, why he didn’t talk to us. He said he hadn’t thought about his silence around grown ups before, so he thought about it. He said, after that, he made an effort to talk to people more, and became very outgoing — which kind of blew me away. I guess you never know how your words can affect someone.

What a great birthday gift, hearing that I actually made a teeny positive difference, because you never know whether people’s lives are better or worse for you having been there. So that little chat with Adrian along with the amazing pasta he made us, and just getting to see him were priceless gifts!

Adrian’s Lobster Pasta, it was magnificent!

Maybe it’s true, it does takes a village. I’m sure there are other kids I’ve scarred for life. They’ll be in touch after their therapy sessions have ended.

My late mother-in-law used to tell a story about a kid who came to the door looking for Roger (her son). This kid was asking for Roger, but with a terrible stutter. Certain he was messing with her, like most of her son’s friends, she stuttered back, “N-n-n-no. R-r-r-r-roger’s n-nnnot h-h-here. Turned out the kid really did have a stutter. She felt guilty for decades. Being part of the village can haunt you too!

Anyway, back to the Peanut Butter Cookies with Butterscotch Ganache Drizzle. Mere heat wasn’t going to stop me because I’ve been thinking about baking these for months.

Peanut Butter Cookie with Butterscotch Ganache Drizzle and Sea Salt

I could have eaten three of these cookies! The recipe was in my Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, but without the Butterscotch Ganache or added sea salt. I think it would make an amazing ice cream sandwich with no ganache or salt, but some Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice cream in between two of these babies.

And Neil Saavedra, host of the Fork Report on KFI radio concurs that these cookies are YUM and the ganache is a very nice touch!

Yields24 Servings

 2 ½ cups unbleached flour
 ½ tsp baking powder
 ½ tsp baking soda
 1 tsp salt
 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
 1 cup packed brown sugar
 1 cup granulated sugar
 1 cup extra crunchy peanut butter
 2 large eggs
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 1 cup dry-roasted salted peanuts, ground in a food processor to resemble bread crumbs
 1 cup butterscotch chips
 ½ cup whipping cream

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set it aside.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugars, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as you go. Beat in the peanutbutter until fully incorporated, then add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Then, gently stir in the ground peanuts and stir until just incorporated.

Take 2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into 2 inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, making sure keep them 2 1/2 inches apart. Then get a fork, and dip it in water and press it on the ball, in one direction, then in another direction to make it look like a crisscross.

Bake 12 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and slightly brown at the edges, but not on top. Cool the cookies.

Then place the butterscotch chips in a small saucepan and add the whipping cream. Stir with a whisk until smooth and remove from heat. Let it cool until it thickens slightly. Then drizzle just a small amount over the cookies. And sprinkle with a dash of sea salt.

Ingredients

 2 ½ cups unbleached flour
 ½ tsp baking powder
 ½ tsp baking soda
 1 tsp salt
 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
 1 cup packed brown sugar
 1 cup granulated sugar
 1 cup extra crunchy peanut butter
 2 large eggs
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 1 cup dry-roasted salted peanuts, ground in a food processor to resemble bread crumbs
 1 cup butterscotch chips
 ½ cup whipping cream

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set it aside.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugars, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as you go. Beat in the peanutbutter until fully incorporated, then add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Then, gently stir in the ground peanuts and stir until just incorporated.

Take 2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into 2 inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, making sure keep them 2 1/2 inches apart. Then get a fork, and dip it in water and press it on the ball, in one direction, then in another direction to make it look like a crisscross.

Bake 12 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and slightly brown at the edges, but not on top. Cool the cookies.

Then place the butterscotch chips in a small saucepan and add the whipping cream. Stir with a whisk until smooth and remove from heat. Let it cool until it thickens slightly. Then drizzle just a small amount over the cookies. And sprinkle with a dash of sea salt.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Butterscotch Ganache Drizzle

  • Reply
    George Maupin
    August 18, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    A Belated Happy Birthday! [My apartment microwave quit on me, so now I have to cook on the electric stove; thanks for this tasty-treat recipe! ]

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 31, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      Hi George, I’m so sorry that your microwave quit. I would be lost without mine. They have good deals at Costco. I almost bought one a little while ago. A very nice one for about 100 bucks. Good luck. Maybe you’ll turn to baking instead!

  • Reply
    EmilyAnn Frances
    August 18, 2019 at 7:22 am

    Belatted birthday greetings, Fran. I toast you for a great year ahead. Yes, you got wonderful, priceless gifts on this birthday. I think your Mom must have nudged Adrian’s Guardian Angel to help bring the reunion about.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 31, 2019 at 5:00 pm

      Awww Emily, thank you so much for the sweet note! I very much appreciate that you took the time to write. And I gratefully accept your toast! You’re probably right about my mom…she had a way of getting things done! Here’s to a great year for everyone! xoxo

  • Reply
    daedae51
    August 16, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    What an uplifting blog, so glad you had a great birthday. I love that this recipe is 1 serving 🙂

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 17, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      HA!!!!!! Clearly, I am dunderhead who is still figuring out the software…yep should always check that before hitting print. I was so excited to get this out, I didn’t check the recipe again before publishing. That would be one big dessert since the cookies themselves were huge!

      • daedae51
        August 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm

        It gave me an extra giggle, which I needed yesterday 🙂

  • Reply
    lafriday
    August 16, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Okay: peanut butter cookies are my fave–and with a butterscotch drizzle–I might have to forgo keto for a day. And Fran, I suspect there are MANY lives touched by your wit, your friendship, your cooking and your BIG heart–the kids and their parents.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 17, 2019 at 8:39 am

      Awww Linda. Thank you. I love PB cookies too and these have a nice chew to them. I’m sure there are equally as many kids who’ll come to me after therapy. Love you to bits. It was too late to call last night when I got home, but I’ll try you at some point today. xoxoxo

  • Reply
    margaz2013
    August 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    I love your blog!! This recipe looks delicious, but all your recipes are delicious! I loved seeing Adrian all grown up and a chef!!! I would love to see him again. He was very quiet! It is a wonderful feeling to know you impacted someone’s in a positive way. I just read some positive comments from students I taught in the 1980’s! You were a positive force coming to my classroom to read to the children. I was as entertained as they were. I still need to get you up here for dinner. Will get back to you with possible dates. ❤️❤️

    • Reply
      margaz2013
      August 16, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Correction: someone’s life

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 16, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      Awww thank you Marianne. It’s so amazing to see what these kids are becoming. I remember a few years ago writing to a favorite teacher of mine – we corresponded for a while – and it was great! Teachers quite often make the biggest difference of all! I’m ready for dinner whenever you are! xoxo

  • Reply
    Monica
    August 16, 2019 at 8:36 am

    The cookies look divine and I might make them when it cools off here. Great story about how we affect other people’s lives- you are such a talented writer!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 16, 2019 at 9:03 am

      Thank you Monica. I was really surprised to hear it. I’m sure the therapy conversations will be coming soon as well. Thanks for always reading and taking the time to respond. I hope you, Davey and the kids are great! xo

  • Reply
    Jerry Kitchel
    August 16, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Great read, Franny! It takes a village all right. Good reminder.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 16, 2019 at 9:04 am

      Awwww Jerry, if anyone would know that it would be you. You’ve been doing good deeds since forever and the world is way better for it. We should have lunch soon. Miss you. Maybe we can even grab Fred!

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