This week has been….hmmmmm….how to describe it?
Let’s just say it’s been a week that, so far (and unfortunately), has been like the rest of them have been since classes started two weeks ago. And I need a cookie. Or seven. Or maybe something a little stronger and/or more potent than a cookie?
Which should give you an idea about how my weeks have been going lately. Smashing peanuts with the blunt end of a kitchen implement was rather therapeutic, if you know what I mean.
Before making peanut butter, I took a handful (not too many, lest I dip into the peanuts meant for butter stash) of peanuts and smashed them all up for some cookies.
Now, normally, I’m not one for nuts in my baked goods. It’s a texture thing, and I don’t like crunchy bits. Don’t even get me started on crunchy peanut butter. It sucks! I mean, the spreading alone!?! It’s impossible to get even coverage!
Oooh….flowers! Pretty! (See how I can distract even myself? I’m good.)
I was in the mood for peanut butter cookies, which is nothing out of the ordinary there. But I just felt this urge to add in the crunch when I saw that bag of nuts.
I’ve made countless versions of peanut butter cookies in my lifetime, but I’ve never once added nuts. I don’t even use crunchy peanut butter. (See above for that rant.) It’s all smooth around here. The smoother the better.
We’re talking soul train smooth.
I wanted them to be really nutty flavored, so I used almond extract in addition to the vanilla. It worked, but if you aren’t a huge almond fan, you may want to skip it. I think I may try hazelnut extract next time, though that has a tendency to really overpower the other flavors.
And peanut butter, in my mind, should never be overshadowed. It shines a light on its own.
A light that is bright enough to erase all memories of a couple of less than awesome weeks.
Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/3 cup margarine or coconut oil (I used about 2-3 T of each)
- 3 T peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup sugar (I used the Katie-standard 2/3 NuNaturals erythritol, 1/3 NuNaturals Stevia BakingBlend)
- 1/4 tsp almond extract, optional
- 1/4 cup peanut flour
- 2/3 cup oat flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup crushed dry roasted peanuts
Blend oil or margarine, peanut butter, egg, sugar, and extract together until creamy. Add in dry ingredients and mix very well.
Spoon generous scoops of dough onto a greased (or silpat-lined) cookie sheet. Press down with a fork to make those neat little cross hatches on top. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet.
I should say that, while this has been a rocky start to the school year, the students are GREAT. Not that I have too broad a base to compare, this being only my second year of college teaching, but they are active, lively, engaged, and for the most part really excited to learn.
My freshmen make me laugh constantly and my upper level class just floors me with how fast they get what I am teaching them.
It’s got to be my rock star teaching though. At least a little bit. Maybe some of it. A little. Maybe. Or not.
Shut up, you and hand me a cookie.
Never mind what’s in this bottle. That’s not your business.
What do you do when you have a bad day (or week) (or weeks)? I know those nutritionists say not to “reward” yourself with food lest it become a conditioned positive reinforcement (hey! I just taught this yesterday in my behavior class!), but you know what?
Screw them. I earned my cookie(s).