We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cookie Recipe #209 - Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Brownies

From the unlimited list of peanut butter and chocolate recipes comes another taste-tempter. Chopped peanuts are included in the recipe but I made mine nutless.

Ingredients: 1 2/3 cups (10 ounce package) Peanut Butter chips, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 3/4 cups (10 ounce package) chocolate chunks (or chips), 1/4 cup chopped peanuts.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Melt peanut butter chips in microwave for a minute; stir until smooth (heat for another 30 seconds to a minute if not thoroughly melted); cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs and vanilla. Beat in melted peanut butter chips, flour and salt; stir in chocolate chunks (or chips) and peanuts. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. (I sprinkled a few more chocolate chips on the top).

Bake 30-35 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack before cutting into squares.

Makes about 3 dozen brownies.

"Hershey's Chocolate Lover's Cookbook", Brimar Publishing Inc., Montreal, Canada, 1993.

Cookies Rule!!!

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