img_1597I am sick of winter. I know I’m not alone. I am sick of the sheer amount of physcial accessories I must carry with me at all times, in the event of a violent wind gust (wtf, wind, what is your problem?) or snow shower or arctic freeze. SICK. OF. IT. However, I must acknowledge that now is the perfect time for baking. I’m not much of a baker, only because I have little patience for the minutia of baking – all the measuring and whatnot. I can’t taste as I go, and there is a real possibility something will burn. But, without the modern convenience of central air conditioning, the winter months are really my only opportunity to bake comfortably.

Yesterday was rainy and cold and grey, and I had plenty of tea on hand but no cookies, which I felt I had to remedy. Again I turned to my new massive cookbook, How to Cook Everything, and found a simple recipe for oatmeal cookies. I love both simple and oatmeal cookies so I decided to go for it – with the peanut butter modification (substitute 1/2 of the butter with peanut butter). Because everything is better with peanut butter. (Random aside. Favorite “Peanuts” quote ever: “Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love”).

The cookies came out OK, but actually not my favorite cookie texture ever. They are kind of spongy and don’t spread out that much when they cook. I prefer the thin cookies that are soft when first out of the oven and then get crunchy. I also thought the cinnamon flavor was a bit strong – I would probably halve it next time. But they still hit the cookie spot!

(Peanut Butter) Oatmeal Cookies

3 – 4 dozen

4 T. unsalted butter, softened
4 T. peanut butter or other nut butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
pinch salt
2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. vanilla or almond extract

1. Heat oven to 375F. Use an electric mixer to cream togetehr the butter and sugars; add the eggs one at a time and beat until well blended.

2. Mix oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Alternating with the milk, add the dry ingredients to the dough a little at a time, mixing on low. Stir in the extract.

3. Drop tablespoon-size mounds of dough about 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 12 – 15 minutes. Cool for about 2 minutes on the sheets before using a spatula to transfer the cookies to a rack to finish cooling.