Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 25: Classic Peanut Butter Cookies with Reece's Pieces by Leann Marosi

Today my guest blogger is my brother's girlfriend Leann. However just calling her his girlfriend doesn't seem fair, she is a special part of our family and the boys all think of her as their aunt. A perfect match for my brother, we see the two of them sharing a long happy life together. She is smart, beautiful and brings out the best in everyone around her. We are so grateful Louis found such a wonderful girl. We just love her to pieces!!!

The cookies Leann baked look so delicious!!! Enjoy!!!


I would like to think of myself as a master chef and expert baker; however the reality is quite the opposite. My parents were good cooks and baked well, their family backgrounds providing an eclectic mix of cooking styles and recipes. As a child I was often off in my own little world, and never quite learned as much in the kitchen as I should have from them. Over the years I have become a pretty decent cook, but my baking skills are far from where I would like them to be.

Growing up I remember helping my parents bake fairly often. Sugar cookies in the shape of Christmas trees and stars, homemade frosting, butter ball cookies, and sour cream cookies sprinkled with cinnamon are what I remember most around Christmas. In the fall my dad used to make apple pie after we went to Hy’s Apple Orchard and picked our own apples. Unfortunately being a helper to my parents never translated into a grand culinary skill for me as an adult. I do not like chocolate or sweets of any kind, and I think that’s played a part in my lack of baking skills. Baking seems like it would be so much more enjoyable if you enjoy eating the finished product!

The first time I made peanut butter cookies as an adult, I made them for my boyfriend Louis. After a discussion about making cookies, I tried to prove to him that I could bake well. The finished product turned out to be what he still calls "football cakes" to this day. I didn’t know how much cookie dough should go into each cookie. When they came out of the oven they were huge – and oddly enough were shaped like footballs. How that happened I will never know. Fortunately after that I have managed to get much better.

Peanut butter cookies are always a hit in my house; I won't eat them, but Louis sure will! Originally I wanted to try something I had never made before. I hardly ever bake, so when I actually do, I try to do something different each time. Louis loves Dr. Pepper, so I thought that could be fun. The experiment was a complete failure. I think the recipe I was going off of was missing a few ingredients, or the measurements were wrong. They wound up tasting like cardboard; not even mini chocolate chips could save them. So much for trying something new! Based on the remaining ingredients I had in the house, peanut butter cookies turned out to be my only other option. If you don’t really love peanut butter, it may be best to leave out the Reece’s Pieces I added in.

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies (with Reece’s Pieces)

½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat for two more minutes.
Mix in the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar and butter mixture. Add in Reece’s Pieces if desired. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place about three inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in a criss-cross pattern with a fork. Bake until light brown – about ten minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

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