Friday, January 16, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've never been into the classic peanut butter cookie. You know, the ones you flatten before baking by applying that criss-cross pattern on top with a fork? Those chewy bastards are great if you love peanut butter but they're too much for me. I'd eat one or two and feel pretty peanut butter naseaus.

I don't always want peanut butter in my treats - Reese's are OK but not my favorite, and when I want ice cream, I want something fudgy or caramel-y. Essentially, I am much more of a true chocolate enthusiast.

Sometimes, though, peanut butter is nice. For those times, I like to take my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and amp it up by substituting some of the butter with peanut butter. You're left with what looks like your standard chocolate chip cookie in all their chewy puffy glory only with a kick of peanut butter. Just the way I like it!

The weekend after New Year's Eve was such a weird. low key, sad weekend. Cody and I didn't have plans, we stayed in pajamas for most of the weekend, and we decided it was post-holiday clean up weekend. We took down the Christmas tree, packed up the decorations, and sadly sad goodbye to them by putting them in the basement until next year. OK so I was sad to see them go. Cody did not seem fazed. Psh. Men.

What added to this sad weekend was the weather. We finally got some snow! It starting snowing on that Saturday night but then it turned into rain over night and Sunday was pretty much just a cloudy, drizzly, melty day. What's better for a gross winter day than a batch of cookies? Nothing!

So more snow means a Christmas redux, right? RIGHT?

It was one of those times where I actually wanted that peanut butter punch. So I dug up my reliable go-to cookie recipe (now, I've had it for so long that I can't remember where it originated from. It was from the back of something - butter, chocolate chips, something like that) and did my usual - substitute half a cup of butter for half a cup of peanut butter! It always works, the cookies always come out awesome, and you get the right amount of peanut buttery goodness without feeling like you're about to overdose on peanut butter.

Is there ANYTHING more beautiful than cookie dough?

I'm also getting better at food photography. I'm learning tips and methods from other awesome food bloggers and evert time I plan a food blog post, try them out. I finally saved some white foam pieces from one of our recent Christmas packages and have started using them as reflectors. I was BLOWN AWAY at the difference! I didn't think it'd work but it did! The photos here with the finished cookies were all shot by my kitchen window, with the foam reflector on the other side, and I think the photos came out 100% better than my usual ones. I will definitely be implementing the homemade reflector foam from now on! What kind of tricks do you use, if you photograph food for your blog or other social media?

All in all, we did not have a bad weekend. Our house is now back in order and everything is back where it belongs. Christmas has been packed away for the year (sniff sniff...), and we're back to reality post-holidays. Everyone is back to work and it's time to get back to business. Sad to think, but at least we got to return to work bearing cookies to cheer everyone up!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter (original non-peanut butter recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups butter)
1/2 cup peanut butter 
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
~1 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 376 degrees.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
3. Beat butter, sugars in a large bowl until creamy.
4. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
5. Gradually add in flour mixture and combine.
6. Stir in chocolate chips.
7. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.