Friday, August 26, 2011

Puffy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies...and, why running has become very important to me.

I have another confession to make.

I love food.  I mean, I REALLY love food.  But, I think you already knew that :)
I also love reading food blogs.  I get so much inspiration to try new cuisines, techniques, etc.  The problem with this love for food combined wonderful inspiration (and a brand new giant kitchen!) results in lots and lots of food being cooked and baked.  Delicious food.  (Sometimes healthy, sometimes not) :)
This is where running comes in.  I run so that I can eat :)  That's pretty much the only reason.  I also love running because it is something Lester and I can do together, but mostly I love it because I can eat something scrumptiously bad for me without feeling guilty. :)

Enter the Puffy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I made these last night at the request of my sweet husband.  Of course, I most willingly submitted.  In no time at all I had these baked up.  Then we consumed them, and they were GOOD.  Really, how can you go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate?  It is the most perfect food combination in the world.

What did I love about these cookies?  What didn't I love about these cookies? They were super soft and chewy - like a chocolate chip cookie - without the sometimes tough, grainy texture (but with all of the flavor!) of a peanut butter cookie. 
I will definitely be making these again and again...and again.

Puffy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about 18 (large) or 36 (small) cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
8 tablespoons of salted butter, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Add butter and peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl, and heat in 30 second increments until melted. Let cool completely.

Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, mix the cooled butter/peanut butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed.
Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms.  It is a pretty firm dough.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Shape the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet two inches apart.  (If you are feeling really brave - which you are - sprinkle a little sea salt on the cookies before baking.  YUM!!!)
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be soft and puffy.
Cool completely and enjoy!

  • During the process of making the cookies, I realized that I didn't have a full 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips.  But, I did have some peanut butter chips.  So I used 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter chips.  It was a great substitution in my opinion!
  • The dough for these cookies is very firm.  I ended up using my hands to mix the chocolate/peanut butter chips in with the dough - almost as if I was kneading them in.
  • Do not over bake the cookies!  The cookies will not look like they are done when the timer goes off.  Take them out of the oven anyway.  They settle as they cool, and the puffiness is what makes these cookies wonderfully chewy on the outside while still soft and gooey on the inside. :) 

Monday, August 15, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

It's official.  We are homeowners!  We signed the papers on August 4th and were completely moved in to our adorable, little house by Saturday afternoon.  May many blessings be on the heads of my parents, my sister Lori, and my grandma for all the hard work they did in helping us move.

We are beyond thrilled to finally be living in our new home and working to make it just the way we want it!  We give God all the praise and glory for what He is doing in our lives.

I've promised so many people pictures, so I am including a few in this post.  These are just pictures of the downstairs.  Upstairs pictures will be taken and posted later, but we currently have a guest staying with us whom we have given free reign of the entire upstairs for the next week or so. :)

Disclaimer:  The pictures in this post will be horrible because -
a: I am not a photographer.  I don't take pictures of...well...anything.  I'm told that will bother me someday, but right now I don't care. :)
b: I don't even own a camera.  (well, I did....but it died, and I haven't gotten around to replacing it yet)  Yay for iPhone cameras though!

This is our adorable, little house!  
We are currently in the process of taming the jungle that is the front and back yards. 

Silly me opening our front door for the first time.

View from the front door.  
We LOVE the open floor plan.

Disclaimer #2 - Ignore all the unpacking and painting that's still going on.  It's a process. :)

Living room

My favorite, favorite, favorite room in the whole house!

Disclaimer #3 - The wine cooler came with the house.  It will soon be replaced with more shelving/storage.  Thank you. :)

Master Bedroom

Another view of the Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom
Yay for double sinks!!
Disclaimer #4 - Ignore random girl standing in giant bathtub to take a picture.  You do what you have to do to get a good shot apparently :P

Another Master Bath view
The bathroom is long....I couldn't get a good picture of the whole thing.  Sorry.

God is good. All the time.