A momentous occasion in my training for the Team Challenge fundraising half-marathon: I ran 3 miles today, which is officially the farthest distance I’ve ever run. And I ran the whole thing! So, I deserve a treat. Because I said so. Don’t ask questions.
As it turns out, it’s a bit chilly in the Windy City today, so I need to bake something to warm up my apartment anyway. Hence, cookies. It makes sense. Don’t ask questions. (Are we sensing a theme here?)
Clearly I’m a little defensive about posting a cookie recipe since this blog is supposed to be about fitness, health, and fundraising. It is, however, also about life. And my life involves cookies. In all sincerity, I think it’s healthy (and in my case, necessary) to give yourself small rewards for accomplishing things.
The key here is that the rewards are relatively small, and that I make them myself, instead of expecting other people to give them to me. That seems like a mature, wise way to handle my sugar addiction, right? Well, let’s hope so, cuz that’s my story and I’m f**king sticking to it.
Speaking of stories, even though I’ve only been a part of Team Challenge for 3 weeks, I’ve already met so many awesome people who have been devastated by Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. They don’t deserve this – no one does – but they have no choice because there’s no cure. The treatment options are harsh, and physically taxing. Hospital stays can take weeks. My heart goes out to anyone affected by these diseases, and I’m trying to do as much as I can to help. Click here to do your part.
There’s really no good way to transition out of a serious moment like that, so I’m just jumping right in. Without further ado, Chocolate Chip Peanut Cookies!
These cookies are an adaptation of this basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. You can add in whatever you happen to have in the kitchen. (Whatever they say on the Food Network, I will always maintain that baking is more about love and sugar than about science and exact measurements.) The peanuts I added may or may not have come from trail mix that I – ahem – picked all the good stuff out of. Don’t judge. You know you do it too.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
< 1/2 tsp salt (if the peanuts are salted, if they’re not, use a full 1/2 tsp salt)
1 (ish) cup chocolate chips
1/2 (ish) cup peanuts, roughly chopped
2-3 tbsp hot water
1/4 (ish) cup peanut butter, preferably chunky because of its obvious superiority
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
2. Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Add in the eggs and vanilla.
3. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips, and peanuts in a medium bowl.
4. Add the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Stir until combined.
5. At this point, my dough was still looking rather crumbly, so I added 2-3 tbsp hot water. That still didn’t do the trick, so I added somewhere around 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter. Maybe a bit more. Instead of peanut butter, you could use another nut butter, 1-2 tbsp of regular butter, a bit of applesauce, some milk (or non-dairy milk-like beverage), or a bit more water (though that would be my last choice). Basically, you just need the dough to stick together so you can…
6. Roll the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 mins, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
If you want to be all fancy, you can switch the cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking (from upper oven rack to lower rack, and vise versa). After you take them out, you can also let the pans cool on racks for 5-10 mins, then remove the cookies and let those cool completely on the racks. I, however, am way too lazy to do any of those things. I let the pans cool on the stovetop for 2-3 mins, and then move the individual cookies to the counter to cool completely.
Like I said, I think baking is mostly about love and sugar. In all honesty, even though they’re not fancy, my cookies still bring all the boys to the yard, and I don’t really care if they’re better than yours. Peace.