Yesterday we decided to go for an evening picnic up the Finney Creek Road out of Concrete, WA, then up a long, very skinny National Forest road to the Gee Point trailhead. (Mr. C. had wanted me to see this view since he had hiked up to Gee Point a couple of years before.) The view from the top of this road (and I use the word “road” loosely) is spectacular. You can see Glacier Peak, White Horse Mountain, and various other peaks around the Marblemount and Darrington environs. Fantastic. But this is not a drive for sissies. (I told Mr. C. when we reached the end of the road that I was very glad I had worn my big girl panties, because the last several miles of this “up to the top of the world” drive had scared the bajesus out of me. (Having survived some fairly amazing roads on our travels over the years, I’m usually fearless. But this
road path we took yesterday was the scariest I have ever experienced.) But we made it up and down without breaking an axle, having to change a tire, or reaching the main road with a wet spot on the passenger side seat. (Just barely!)
We had planned to eat at the top. But when we got out of the truck, it was really cold, and the million or so mosquitos hovering around our bodies would have eaten us alive before we even got the table set or the cooler unpacked! So back we climbed into the truck and started our very slow trek down the long and winding road. Half way back to the main road we stopped at a one lane bridge, got our table and chairs out, and had our dinner. These delicious cookies were part of our picnic dinner.
Earlier in the day I had decided to build some cookies for our adventure. (We never want to go into the wilds of the North Cascades without a supply of homemade cookies. It’s almost a sacred Carr tradition. You just never know if a hungry bear might show up and demand a cookie as ransom for our lives!) So I decided to try out a recipe that I had been envisioning for quite some time.
Now I know, there are those of you out there that strongly believe that a good old fashioned peanut butter cookie simply cannot be improved upon. And I agree. But a variation on the basic peanut butter cookie can be delicious too. (Like my Chunky Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe already on this site.) For this variation, I decided to add salty peanuts and Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips. Yum! They came out soft, with a delightful crunch from the whole peanuts.
So regardless of whether you like your peanut butter cookies standard (see recipe below for my standard recipe) or enhanced, bake up a batch in the near future. Peanut butter cookies are just one of the loveliest creations on planet earth. Unless of course you are allergic to peanuts, then of course all bets are off!
- ½ c. unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
- ¾ c. packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- 2 lg. eggs, room temperature
- ½ c. creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1¼ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 1½ c. roasted, salted peanuts
- 1 c. peanut butter chips
Beat butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture and beat on low until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add peanuts and peanut butter chips; beat on low just until incorporated.
Using an ice cream scoop, drop cookies about 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes or until light brown on the bottom edges but soft in the middle. Transfer to a rack to cool. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES – straight out of my Betty Crocker cookbook
- ¼ c. Crisco (plain)
- ¼ c. unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ c. peanut butter
- ½ c. granulated sugar + more for dipping
- ½ c. packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1¼ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
Cream shortening, butter, peanut butter, sugars, and egg until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to shortening mixture.
Using an ice cream scoop, drop batter onto ungreased baking sheet(s) about 1½ inches apart. Slightly flatten each cookie with fork dipped in granulated sugar.
Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Don’t overbake. As soon as cracks appear on the surface, they are done. Remove from oven and cool on racks. Store in an airtight container.