Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cooking Quirks: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello again, worldly dots!

Today's post is a super belated post on peanut butter chocolate chip cookies made with self-rising flour. Several weeks ago, I attempted to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from scratch. To seasoned bakers, such a basic task and recipe can be made with their eyes closed, for a cooking newbie such as myself, the experience and results were enthralling. :) Laugh if you must, but I'm proud of my wacky-tacky cookies.

Here, I share with you some pictures of the baking process and the results:
  • Creaming the butter and sugar. Soften the butter first, add in mixing bowl, then gradually sift in brown sugar and cream together. I left it with a slight grainy texture, just making sure that it was thoroughly blended.
  •  Adding the egg and flour to the creamed butter and sugar. Gradually add the flour to the other ingredients in between mixing. I mixed by hand, using a regular metal spoon. Gradually adding the flour makes it easier to create an even distribution of the ingredients in the cookie dough.
  •  Mixing the dough, gradually adding chocolate chips. Once stirring gets too difficult, soften the cookie dough by adding a splash of milk. I'd recommend using a metal spoon (of good quality) or a wooden spoon to mix and knead the dough. Once all the ingredients are added, the consistency of the cookie dough makes it less mallable.
  •  Once the cookie dough is ready, I took spoonfuls of cookie dough and scooped them into a daisy flower cookie sheet. This was the baking mold I had on hand. It's made of silicone, so once complete, the cookies should pop right now. I did however, grease the cookie molds using a leftover butter wrapper, running it along the inside of each daisy shape just to make sure.
  •  Left over cookie dough from the mixture rolled into balls and placed on baking sheet. The daisy molds make twenty-four cookies; I molded the leftover cookie dough into round balls and placed them on a baking sheet. I baked them at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Here are the completed cookies from the daisy mold. They should pop right out! As is evident by the two missing cookies in the bottom right corner - they literally popped out when I pulled them out of the oven! Be careful with silicone trays, they may not look like they would be as hot as metal baking sheets/molds, but they are! Also, if not handled carefully, the cookies may easily slip out of the molds during removal from the oven.
  •  The cookies outside of the daisy molds!
  •  Daisy shaped cookies topped with chocolate chips. I added a variety of baking chocolate chips in the center of each flower, for the larger chocolate toppings, I used Hershey's Kisses. Make sure to add any chocolate garnish before the cookies are completely cooled. I love, love, love chocolate, so I couldn't resist adding more chocolate on top. Unfortunately, I remembered to add chocolate garnish a bit late in the game, so some of the chocolate chip garnishes did not stick.
  •  Completed round cookies from the baking sheet. I once again added a chocolate chip as garnish for some of the cookies. I know, the cookies are definitely out of shape! BUT, at least they tasted pretty good. In order to get a better shape, roll dough into even sized round balls and place on the baking sheet in even increments. I used a spoon to scoop the dough and place it on the baking sheet, thus the shapes were uneven.

Thoughts from a cooking novice:

Whew! Honestly, they turned out better than I expected! This was my first time cooking peanut butter cookies from scratch (not counting cooking camp in fourth grade - yep, bringing that up again). It was a lot of fun for me and quite a stress reliever.

Like with the sugar cookies, the peanut butter cookies may not have all turned out pretty looking, but they did taste pretty good. One thing I picked up on with regards to my baking is that my cookies so far have had a tendency of being less sweet than a standard cookie you would buy at the grocery store. Personally, I don't mind this outcome at all. Sometimes, I really want to eat a cookie, but not feel the need to guzzle down a gallon of water or compensate by eating salty foods afterward.

Baking is of course a learning process, so hopefully, my flaws in 'technique' will work themselves out. Baking itself seems to be an art form. You can have one standard item, and have many different recipes to achieve the results. Even different recipes can be followed in different ways and lead to similar or differing results. Getting just a tad bit philosophical, baking can be as diverse as people. Okay, so that sounded a lot better in my head - before I typed it out...haha.

Until the next post, lovelies! Keeping smiling, tomorrow's a new day!