Precisely one year ago, I hit post on the Bluenose Baker’s first recipe. I had no expectation of what that would bring. I knew very little about blogging or food photography (and that is evident from the pictures!) I wasn’t sure if anyone other than my mom would read it.
We’ve come a long way since then! I’ve found my blogging “voice” and have learned how to write a recipe. My photos have improved a lot (at least I think so!) I’ve learned how to share and promote my posts and have gained some followers.
A lot has happened in my life “off-line” this year as well – the biggest event being buying our house. I started the blog just after finishing a year-long teaching term, and as of last month am teaching full time again (having been super busy as a sub in the interim!)
In some ways, I think I’d hoped to be further along in my blogging journey by the end of year one. While the Bluenose Baker was never intended as anything more than a hobby, I do want to continue to grow my readership and “professionalify” things a bit! Anniversaries are always a good time to reflect and evaluate goals.
Anniversaries are also a time for gratitude. I owe a lot of thanks to the people who’ve helped along the way!
To my husband, who taste tests nearly every recipe, never complains when I cover every kitchen surface with dirty dishes, and makes pancakes for supper when I’m too tired to cook from cooking all day – Thank you and love you!
Thank you to my mom and dad, who test recipes, share my posts, and listen to my frustrations.
Thank you to the crew at Atlantic, the staff at WP and other schools, extended family and church members who have sampled my creations and given feedback.
And the biggest thank you goes to you – my readers! Thanks for reading, commenting, baking and being a part of this East Coast kitchen party!
Now on to the recipe!
This is a bit of a “throwback” to the sort of recipe I posted a lot in the blog’s early days. I don’t eat nuts often these days, but I still have a soft spot for peanut butter. And these are the gold standard in peanut butter cookies!
My husband’s co-workers do most of my recipe testing, and there are a few peanut butter lovers among them! Some of them can only have peanuts at work as there are allergic kiddos at home, so I make sure they get a treat from time to time. I also like to send in stuff I know is a hit, to make up for the times that they eat my recipe failures (like Monday’s s’mores brownies….sorry guys!)
These peanut butter cookies are my twist on a recipe from Our Best Bites. You’ll need flour, baking soda, salt, butter, peanut butter, eggs, vanilla, brown and white sugars, a little bit of milk, and whatever add-ins you like. I like to throw in whatever I’ve got: chocolate chips or chunks, Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips. Today it’s chocolate chips/chunks and PB chips.
Nothing too complicated about the instructions.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
Cream the sugars, butter and peanut butter together until smooth and fluffy. Blogging gives you an excuse to play with your food – a brown sugar sandcastle on a bed of white sugar!
Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined. I did fish the little piece of eggshell out, but I took the picture first so I could use it for white balance.
Beat in the milk.
Add the vanilla. A friend’s mom brought me back pure Mexican vanilla from her vacation – this stuff is good!
Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl and beat until combined. I love my pouring shield – I make enough of a mess without worrying about flour dust storms!
Add the chocolate and peanut butter chips. Despite the bag that says “peanut butter chips,” I was sure that these were mini Reese’s Pieces until I started pouring them into the measuring cup! The original recipe calls for a cup each of chocolate chips, PB chips and Reese’s Pieces. That’s a great combo if you’ve got them all on hand.
That’s a lot of chips!
Beat on low speed until the chips are evenly distributed. You can mix by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula if your mixer is straining by this point.
Roll into 2 tablespoon balls (I use a large cookie scoop) and place on lined baking sheets.
Use your fingertips to flatten the dough slightly to keep the cookies from puffing up too much. You can add a few chips to the top to pretty them up too.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.
You can also make giant cookies by using ¼ cup dough for each (that’s how Sara did it in the original recipe.) Those will need 12-15 minutes in the oven.
Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Perfect for a birthday treat!
Especially with a cold glass of milk!
I wish I could make one of these for every single one of my readers, but I guess you’ll have to make some yourself!
Thanks again and here’s to year two being as fantastic as year one!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Our Best Bites
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
- 1 ½ cups peanut butter chips (you can also add Reese’s Pieces or substitute any desired add-ins for a total of 3 cups)
Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in milk and vanilla.
While mixing on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Mix in the chocolate and peanut butter chips, using a spatula or wooden spoon if the mixer is straining.
Use a large cookie scoop to form the dough into 2 tablespoon balls. Flatten the balls slightly and top with additional chips, if desired.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Cool briefly on cookie sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.