Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a craving for peanut butter cookies that just wouldn’t quit, so what choice did I have but to bake a batch? I’m a believer that many of the best cookie recipes come from mundane sources—the backs of chocolate chip bags, newspaper articles, and old family recipes. So I went in search of a simple recipe straight from the source—peanut butter. I found what I was looking for on the MaraNatha website, a recipe with all of the familiar ingredients and no surprises.

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I used Cup 4 Cup for the flour because it’s the best gf mixture I’ve found, and I bake infrequently enough not to mind the expense. I also love the convenience of direct substitution—no changing the amount or adding xanthun gum. Since I’m allergic to eggs, I used one large, ripe, and well-beaten banana instead. I love banana and peanut butter together, so this substitution was an obvious one. (You can also use unrefined coconut oil instead of butter if you want to make this recipe vegan.) At the last possible moment, I decided to add in half a bag of Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips as well. If I’m going to indulge, I might as well include chocolate!

well mashed banana

well mashed banana

These cookies bake in just seven minutes, and they were so satisfying—soft, a little crumbly, and full of peanut butter flavor in every bite. Enjoy!

pre and post baked

pre and post baked

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Double Peanut Butter Cookies via MaraNathafoods.com

P.S. If you want to read an interesting article on the science behind the perfect chocolate chip cookie, this article from serious eats breaks down the way that each ingredient contributes to the final product.

Lemon Posset

I have these lovely friends, a couple, who are pretty much good at everything. One is a doctor, the other a nurse. They volunteer in a hospital in Haiti a couple of times a year. They renovated their home, deconstructing the chimney and building skylights with their own hands. They garden, and of course, they cook. And let me be clear—when I say “cook,” I mean one of them trained under a French chef. So when they invite me over for dinner, I always say yes. Then I have a brief moment of panic while I try to decide what to contribute to the meal.

Life has been busy lately, so I decided not to over think it and just make a chocolate espresso pudding I’ve made a few times before. It’s quick, it’s easy, and who doesn’t love chocolate? Sadly, I attempted to make the pudding while I was preparing dinner. My impatience meant that the pudding never thickened properly, and remained a soupy mess even after a full night in the fridge.

Meyer lemons are sweeter and milder than other lemons. Much of the lemon flavor comes from the oils in the skin.

Meyer lemons are sweeter than other lemons. Much of the lemon flavor comes from the oils in the peel.

That’s when I decided to take the risk of making a recipe that had caught my eye—lemon posset. Historically, posset refers to a drink of warm milk curdled with ale or wine, then spiced. Thought to have healing properties, this drink was enjoyed as a cold remedy in medieval England. Today posset more commonly refers to a custard-like dessert. The original recipe has only three ingredients: heavy cream, sugar, and lemon juice. With a recipe this simple I couldn’t resist adding my own little twist. First, I decided to use Meyer lemons. Since Meyer lemons have a more delicate flavor, adding a teaspoon of zest seemed like the best way to ensure the lemon taste would shine through. I also love the combination of lemon and lavender, so I decided to sprinkle the posset with dried lavender flowers just before chilling. I added raspberries just before serving, because it just felt right to incorporate the first local berries of the summer.

let the cream come all the way to a boil, but keep your eye on it so it doesn't boil over

let the cream come all the way to a boil, but keep your eye on it so it doesn’t boil over

This was so delicious that one of my friends licked the bowl! It was a success that bears repeating, except next time I plan to use fresh Oregon blueberries as a complement to the floral note of the lavender. This was the perfect dessert for an early summer dinner with such dear friends. Enjoy!

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Lemon Posset via Food 52

By Mrs. Larkin