Yesterday I held my bi-weekly tea party in the lounge of my floor. I baked my own version of the peanut butter cookies found on page 437-438 of Baking Illustrated with the following changes:
Having no vanilla I used a heaping 1/2 tsp on pumpkin spice (it always adds a homey, warm taste).
I used only one egg, because I had only one egg. They cookies were crumbly but still held together well. I kind of like a little crumble in my cookie.
Having not much time, I added the butter all melted (which makes creaming impossible) and added an extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder to counteract this leavening killer.
I did not add the peanuts because I wanted a balance between the peanut taste and the chocolate taste.
The step right before needing to add the peanut butter (crunchy Jiffy I think) I separated the dough into two bowls. Into one I added 1 smashed up super-dark Hershey’s bar, and into the other a little over a 1/4 cup of peanut butter.
Trick for using peanut butter: I ran super hot water over my tin measuring cup right before I put the peanut butter in. It slid out nicely with very little stickage–it made cleanup much nicer.
Then I, and another girl from my hall who came in to hang out and help, formed the dough into balls. We started out at about 2 tbs worthy but ended up with about 1 tbs–2 tbs was just to large.
And then came the fun part! We took the balls and squished them together to look like hearts. I put the first of three batches into the oven (3 batches because all of the hearts would not fit on one tray) and put all of the other hearts onto a plate and into the freezer. This helps prevent spreadage (because the butter re-hardens and then helps hold the cookies together) and also gets them out of the way for clean up.
Note: when making the hearts, don’t over work the dough. The whole metaphor of these cookies is that love is a mix between two different but compatible substances and is messy and yummy all at the same time. So if there is more chocolate dough than peanut butter in one, it is even better. No cookiecutter romance here.
Here’s a picture!
They didn’t all come out heart-shaped, but everyone loved them!
So I did all of that on Wednesday evening. Yesterday I get back from choir practice and get to setting up the tea party. Little did I know our RA had also planned a Super Smash Brothers tournament for our floor (ok, I would have known if I read the fliers posted everywhere. But being college, there are truly too many fliers to take most of them in). Because we are at CMU we came up with a compromise. Between rounds the players (mostly the guys but I think a few girls played) came over and ate the cookies and had some tea and the non-players sat around and chatted or watched the game and gave commentary (most of the non-players who were girls had played the game before at some point, or some other similar game).
Other half of the room:
We drank the Darjeeling (which was complemented on all accounts). It was a good and relaxing breather before getting to homework and chores and all of those other things which require cookies to be fun.
“There is no such thing as being non-political. Just by making a decision to stay out of politics you are making the decision to allow others to shape politics and exert power over you. And if you are alienated from the current political system, then just by staying out of it you do nothing to change it, you simply entrench it.” (Joan Kirne)