Archive for November, 2010

Fridays are pretty dull for me. I take my sister to school at about 8:30am and then have nothing to do until 5:00pm when I head to work. So it’s usually in this big block of lonely time that I find a baking project to sink my teeth into. We don’t have much at my dad’s house, so I decided to go with something relatively simple and then try and jazz it up. I thought Bakerella’s Coraline Cookies would be just the thing, they’re super cute and simple and everyone in my house loves a nice peanut butter cookie.

Bakerella used a simple box mix, but as I didn’t have one and was far too lazy to run to the store, I decided to make a dough from scratch. It only needs 5 ingredients!

Those five ingredients are:

1 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)
1 large egg
1/4 cup of oil

(I pulled this recipe off of Wikianswers after a google search for “easy peanut butter cookies”)

Mix them all together and you’ll get an amazing smelling cookie dough!

I rolled the dough into little balls using a water bottle cap as my guide and then baked them for 8-10 minutes in a 350F oven. This batch was in for about 10 minutes, but when I took them out and started to press them into the button shapes…

They split and cracked! I was very upset, I had no idea what had gone wrong. Did I leave them in too long? Not long enough? I asked some friends and the general consensus was that perhaps my dough wasn’t moist enough. So, I added just under 1/4 cup of water and mixed it into my dough. Note: Was this part of a recipe or a baker’s help guide? No. Did I know from my many years of experience that this would help and not completely destroy my cookie dough? Not at all. I simply figured that a box cookie mix uses egg, water, and oil in combination with a  dry bag of flour, sugar, and dehydrated peanut butter stuff, so adding water couldn’t hurt. Wonder Bakers live life on the edge of reason!

My dough did look a little shinier when I was rolling it, like the dough Bakerella uses to make her cookies, but in the end the result was the same. They didn’t spread out much and they continued to crack! I even stopped from putting the dough in the fridge and cooked these for only 8 minutes. I was a little bit anxious at this point trying to decide what to do. I didn’t want to add more water since I had already baked so much of the dough, so for my final batch I decided to try pressing the button shapes before putting the cookies in the oven.

There was a little bit of splitting all the same, but I was pleased that the shapes were holding. Now it was just another 8 minute wait before I would know for sure if my plan was successful.

Praise the baker, it was! All the cookies came out like neat little peanut butter buttons! Right out of the oven, after I got over my joy in success, I grabbed a straw and poked the holes by inserting the end and giving a little twist to lift the tiny section of cookie out. Be careful not to get too close to the edges or your cookie will break. You can poke holes in about three cookies before the pieces start to cool inside the straw and give you a hard time, so I recommend gently squeezing out the little pieces after a few cookies. Careful though, they make the straw hot! But of course, if you have more than one straw at hand, using a new one is an option too.

The best part of this baking misadventure is that even the pile of messy scraps and failed buttons I ended up with were still super tasty! Peanut butter cookies aren’t the most exciting, but they seem to be a crowd favorite most of the time. I wish I had had some chocolate for dipping, but I think that even plain these cute cookies made for happy eating 🙂