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By Carissa Sitki
I’ve never been much for cooking. It’s not that I’m unable to cook a decent meal, it’s that I prefer not to. I would never say that I don’t enjoy the experience of whipping up some food, but the cleanup is what I like to avoid.
Anyway, one of my favorite things to do when I somehow wind up in a kitchen, is to bake cookies. Specifically, my famous peanut butter cookies. I call them famous because they did, in fact, win second place at the Sangamon County Fair in 2010.
The recipe itself is incredibly simple and can be found all over the web. That is to say, there is nothing special about my cookies. They are the simple three-ingredient kind. To make a dozen, you just mix a cup of peanut butter, a cup of sugar, and an egg in a large bowl; roll the mixture into balls; press them flat with a fork; and bake them on 350 degrees for… I’m not totally sure because I just eyeball them, but I think they’re supposed to be in the oven for 10 minutes.
Simplicity aside, these cookies are good. I don’t mean to brag, but they are lucky if they make it off of the pan because they get eaten so fast. I tend to use more peanut butter and less sugar which does something wonderful to the consistency that I can’t even describe… and they’re a bit healthier that way, I think.
While there may not be anything exceptionally difficult about baking a few dozen of these heavenly peanut butter cookies, my easily-distracted mind will venture off into a dreamy realm and leave them to burn. If I could describe my cooking style in two words, it would be, “inattentive baker.” I’ll set timers and turn them off like they’re the snooze button on an alarm clock. What a mess. The first batch usually survives my antics, but by the second, or third, I’ve mentally clocked out.
Lucky for me, I prefer my cookies a little-bit overdone and I’ll eat a whole tray of dark brown cookies if given half a chance. It’s when they transform into charcoal patties, that I draw my line in the sand. I typically catch them before they become inedible, but I won’t say that I haven’t had a batch turn to dust on me.
There are many ways in which I could better focus my attention on the task at hand when I’m wearing my chef’s cap. This I know, but in a way I rather enjoy the thrill of getting lost in thought, suddenly remembering I have cookies in the oven, and then springing up and sprinting to their rescue. Talk about a real adrenaline rush.
I certainly don’t recommend my method, but I cast no judgement upon those of you who are like me when you bake. Whether all of your cookies are golden brown, or you end up with the occasional tray of hockey pucks, I wish you all the best this cookie-filled time of year.