Peanut butter and jelly

Being the grown-up means you get to eat peanut butter and jelly however (and whenever) you like.

This is an overnight (or wait awhile) kind of recipe. You know how I love those, although I didn’t actually utilize my ‘break’ last night and this morning to do dishes (and I really wish I had).

These would be a good thing to mix up on a Friday evening to make Saturday morning a bit sweeter.

Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies

modified a la David Lebovitz’s wonderful book

1. Mix together in a medium bowl:

1-1/4 cup flour (which I broke down into 1/2 cup white rice flour, 1/2 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup arrowroot starch, and a pinch of xanthan gum)

1 Tbs baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2. In a stand mixer (or by hand!) mix together the following until smooth and creamy:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used granulated evaporated cane juice)

1/2 cup melted, unsalted butter (that’s a whole stick), if using salted for some reason, omit the salt in dry mix above

1 cup smooth peanut butter

3. Add 1 large egg to sugar/butter mixture and beat until fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

4. Add dry flour mixture and mix until the batter is evenly combined.

5. Use your hands to knead and shape the batter into ball. Place (crumbly) ball into a small mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate for the night.

6. In the morning, set the dough out of the fridge first thing! It needs quite awhile to come to room temp. Make coffee, breakfast, go jogging, whatever, just let it warm up or you’ll be frustrated by the rock-hard, super-crumble that is your batter.

7. After the batter has had some time to itself, preheat oven to 350 and place parchment paper (or baking mat) on a cookie sheet. (I had to bake in two shifts because I only have one cookie sheet.) Pour about a fourth cup of granulated sugar into a little bowl to dip your cookies in before placing them on the sheet.

Shape your cookies by grabbing about a tablespoon’s worth of dough and pressing it together with your hands. David says to make balls, but I had little faith in the crumble that was my batter, even after the countertop warming session. (If I’d left them as balls I was sure the fork pressing time would just obliterate them into a mess of crumble.)

I formed the cookies mostly in my hand, smooshing them down between my palms into 2-3” patties. I figured the fancy fork tines design work would help achieve that cracked edge effect perfectly.

I made many of the cookies about double the size he said to (about 2 Tbs worth of batter per cookie); I don’t know why I have such a hard time following directions.

8. Dip cookie patty in sugar on one side. Place cookie on sheet, sugar-dusted side up. Use a fork to press the tines in the tops of the cookies crosswise. You don’t have to press that hard (and if you do, your cookie might crumble). Fancy!

9. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate pan and bake for 4-5 additional minutes. Pull out and let cool on pan for 15 minutes. They might not seem done, but they’ll harden as they cool, leaving a soft, chewy, perfectly-done cookie experience. Even my monster cookies took this same amount of time. No one likes overcooked peanut butter cookies, so David suggests erring on the side of underdone.

[Do you like how I refer to David as my pal? He did sign my book and tell my girlfriend she looked French because of her Fire Island tan, the haircut I gave her and her Polish/Italian heritage; he also plays a big role in making wonderful sweet things appear in my house regularly. I count that as friendship.]

10. Use a spatula and remove cookies carefully onto cooling rack. Dollop jelly atop and prepare yourself for the best. thing. you’ve. ever. eaten.

I couldn’t wait for my own jelly to cool, so I dipped into the foam bowl. I’ll write about jelly-making in the next week or so (once I figure out if mine sets)!Conord grape jellyJulia gave me a jar of the finest jelly I’ve ever seen, which also seemed perfect for the peanut butter occasion. [When does’t jelly make things better?!]

She made apples, plums, organic sugar and lemon do this:Julia’s jelly, a preserver’s masterpiece!p.s. As I typed this up, I realize I used only a half-stick of butter (when I should’ve used a whole one). Interesting. My exceedingly crumbly batter explained. That said, the recipe was miraculously forgiving, and still turned out really tasty. Next time I’ll not wait until 11pm, when my eyes are already in bed, to assemble the fridge batter.