Not clean eating: Peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough balls

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I know, I know — it’s the New Year and everyone is like, “Let’s join a gym! Let’s get back on Weight Watchers! Let’s start eating clean!”

And I’m like . . . here are some fake cookie dough balls. Enjoy?

I say “fake” because they contain no egg, so it’s safe to eat them straight out of the fridge. Or the mixing bowl. They really do taste like cookie dough, but with none of the residual guilt/rebellion I usually feel from eating the real stuff against medical orders.

If you also enjoy eating your feelings, these are portable and very pop-able. With the kids and I dealing with back-to-back illnesses since November, I definitely need sugar therapy.

And so, behold: peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough balls from Mary Younkin of Barefeet in the Kitchen, who is my recipe guru. I live by her cookbooks, which are the basis for my weekly meal plans. Seriously: Mary is it.

This has been adapted just slightly to add peanut butter chips, because … why not?

Also: hi! Miss you guys. Think about you often. Try to scrape together energy to blog again and usually come up empty, but always plan to return.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Cookie Dough Balls

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick oats
2 tbsp milk, as needed (I used half and half)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

In a bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add the baking soda, flour, and oats. Stir to combine. If the mixture is too dry to roll into balls, add the milk. Stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.

Scoop out the dough and roll with hands into 1-inch balls. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Will keep three days in the fridge, or up to two months in the freezer.

 

 

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Peanut butter paradise!

I can scarcely believe this myself, but I actually made peanut butter blossoms on Sunday! All by myself! From scratch. And I had to use a mixer! A real mixer, with moving pieces that could have potentially hurt me!

But they didn’t hurt me — everything went beautifully. They even artfully “cracked” the way they were supposed to when I pulled them from the oven. I did have a few terrifying moments of, “Oh my God, am I going to splatter dough all over myself?!” but those passed.

The recipe I used is here, and I’ll gently recap . . .

img_4790As with most cooking, I’m sure, I had to gather together my ingredients before I could start anything. I read and re-read the recipe a few times to make sure I had everything within grasp, then set about getting everything together. The peanut butter and shortening had to be combined first and, in a moment of sheer terror, I actually took out the hand mixer and held it for a few seconds in my hand. While I gathered the courage to turn that baby on, I set about unwrapping all of my Hershey kisses — hot cocoa flavor! And I may have stolen a few . . .

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And made a mess in the process . . .

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Once I felt confident enough to tackle the mixer and my peanut butter/shortening combo, I took a deep breath and went for it. Everything blended together pretty easily and I didn’t sully my borrowed apron!

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I mixed in the remaining wet ingredients — including brown and white sugar and vanilla extract — and, somehow, this all began to blend into something vaguely resembling dough. Adding in the flour, salt and baking soda and it really liked like dough. I was already feeling proud of myself!

I recruited my sister to help me roll up our peanut butter mixture into one-inch balls, then rolled them around in a bowl of sugar; that was probably my favorite part of the experience. Kate suggested we do sugar shots when we were finished, but I passed — for now.

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Once they were all rolled up and onto an ungreased baking sheet (two, actually — this made a ton of cookies!), the blossoms had to bake for about eight minutes. We could smell them after only five, so I watched them like a hawk! And rescued them just as a few were starting to brown a little too much around the edges.

After the sheets come out of the oven, the kisses have to go right into the center of the cookies. As the recipe warned me, they did “crack” — but that’s part of what gives them such a cool appearance! The chocolate started to melt immediately, and I carefully transferred them to separate plates to cool down. Our cooling racks were MIA.

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And then we just had to be patient! It wasn’t easy to do with the lovely peanut buttery aroma wafting all over the kitchen and living room . . . but I set about cleaning up the massive mess I’d made until they were ready. An entire sink-full of dishes later, I couldn’t take it anymore! And yes, they were quite delicious. I feel ridiculously excited that I pulled this off!

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Peanut butter blossoms ahoy!

Oh. My. GOD. I found the recipe for my favorite cookie ever! I’m sure I could have easily scoped this out months — if not years — ago, but I stumbled across it in my Internet travels today. My mother usually makes these around Christmas, and I pretty much begged her to whip up a batch this year. I had no idea this is what they’re called — I usually just call them, “Mom, you know that cookie with chocolate in the middle I like?” — but I’ll roll with it.

I present to you . . .

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Yield: 4 Dozen Cookies

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Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup Crisco® Butter Shortening
• 1/2 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
• 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Sugar
• 48 foil-wrapped milk chocolate pieces, unwrapped

Directions:
1. HEAT oven to 375°F.
2. CREAM together shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well.
3. STIR together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Beat on low speed until stiff dough forms.
4. SHAPE into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
6. TOP each cookie immediately with an unwrapped chocolate piece, pressing down firmly so that cookie cracks around edge. Remove from cookie sheets to cool.

Recipe courtesy JIF

UPDATE 12/15: I made them!