In case you have been living under a rock (or aren't my friend...on facebook), then you might have missed the BIG news:
I got an early birthday present!
This is my new baby, an Empire Red Artisan KitchenAid Mixer.
I had been saving up my Swagbucks Amazon gift cards since June for this, and, as of last week, I had about $145 or so to put toward it. I hoped to save up the rest or, at least, much more, to get it around Black Friday when the prices drop; we had planned all along to pay the difference. Well, I had planned. My husband had different plans. :)
Last Thursday Zach came home from work, and, in a very serious tone, said he had something to tell me:
1) he hacked into my Amazon account and used my Swagbucks gift cards to put towards the mixer because he and his parents decided to pay the difference for my birthday
2) he tried to hack into my Yahoo email to intersect the Amazon notifications.
Unfortunately...fortunately...he couldn't hack it. *lol*
(Actually I can't remember exactly what my password is for my email now because I have it saved to my computer. *oops*)
Anyway, he had to 'fess up, and I got this bad girl when she came Monday night. :)
It's going to be so handy to have when I decorate cakes. I still don't really like to eat cakes, but I love to decorate them. A. LOT. Soon I've gotta start planning an Easter cake, and I already know I want to make some French macarons, as difficult as they may be--they're just so pretty.
But I could hardly wait until Easter to use my new girl, so I flipped through the instruction/cooking booklet and found a recipe for PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES.
My aunt Grace made these often when I was growing up, most likely because they didn't call for a lot of expensive ingredients and were quite tasty. For a plain cookie, I preferred these to sugar cookies. (I liked her peanut butter fudge and pies the best; I'm just not really a cake/cookie/brownie type person. Ice cream is my favorite. Supposedly it helps increase your fertility, so I must be one fertile turtle by now! *haha* And my husband can admit that one of the perks about buying me these appliances is that I can make him sweets...but that is not the only reason he buys them for me. ;)
Sadly, I don't think we have her recipe book anymore, but I imagine most recipes would produce the same results. And, as this recipe tells you what speed to use and what not, I had to try it! (For the sake of including it here, I will not include the numbered speeds, etc.)
KITCHENAID PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/4 c. flour
-Place peanut butter and butter in mixing bowl and beat on medium until mixture is smooth.
-Stop beating and scrape bowl. Add sugars, egg, and vanilla. Beat for one minute; stop and scrap bowl.
-Gradually beat in all remaining ingredients to sugar-butter mixture.
-Roll into 1-inch balls. The dough will be sticky, so flour hands to keep dough from sticking. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. (As you can see, I did not place this batch 2 inches apart, and mine definitely had touching edges when they were done. I like to think they wanted to be friends with one another!)
I need a smaller cookie scoop. Mine was too large for this project!
-Flatten slightly with your palm and then flatten with a fork in a criss-cross pattern. A large fork is preferred than the small one I used. You may also need to dip the fork in flour between flattening to keep it from pulling up the dough.
Hey! It was smooshed. :)
[I am in the process of buying some cooling racks with my most recent Amazon gift cards.]
-Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes (according to my oven). Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on wire racks. If you don't have wire racks, you can take a piece of wax paper and generously sprinkle it was sugar, and it will do the trick. PLUS it gives the bottoms of your cookies a nice sugary crunch. :)
[2 dozen or so]
I topped the second batch of cookies with trios of chocolate chips.
Chocolate + Peanut Butter = :)
I alternated between cooking mine on a cookie sheet--Lord, we need some new ones BADLY--and on my Pampered Chef stone. I found that the cookies on the stone were chewier, which is what I prefer, but I had to bake them much longer. The recipe states that the cookies should bake between 10 to 12 on the cookie sheet, but they were already far too crisp at 10-ish minutes. I believe it's because I have a dark metal cookie sheet, which usually requires a chef to knock twenty-five degrees or so off the cooking temperature. (The same goes for glassware.)