copyright Marceline Donaldson 2010
I have been experimenting with cookies and wanted to share the recipe and the process that came out of those experiments.
The cookie is fantastic. If you have just a little will power you can eat and enjoy only one. If you have no will power, the cookies are gone before they cool and you are left with a heavy stomach-ache because these are heavy cookies meant to be enjoyed one at a time.
2 cups organic stoneground whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon salt – we use himalayan salt, some people use sea salt, try for the purest and most organic salt you can find
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1 and 1/2 sticks organic butter
2/3 cup organic peanut butter
2 and 1/2 cups organic turbinado sugar
2 large organic eggs
1 cup – or to your taste – organic dark chocolate chips
the same amount of roasted organic peanuts
1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon or to your taste organic vanilla oil
I made these cookies without baking powder and they were almost rock hard. You had to really work at eating them. I tried them with baking soda and they were still rock hard. I sort of knew you add baking soda when baking with sour milk products, but I didn’t know why or what happened if you added it to other baking times and now I know. It was only when I added baking powder did I get great cookies.
I always wondered why add baking powder and I now have my answer. When adding baking soda or nothing, the cookies came out of the oven and they were great – soft, but not too soft, etc. When they cooled, however, they also hardened – really hardened – late night stand-up comic jokes hardened. When I added baking powder, they cooled and stayed nice.
There are many stories about cookies made for dunking in coffee and now I know why. They are cookies where the baker forgot to put in the baking powder, or picked up the wrong box and added baking soda without thinking.
I found a recipe for baking powder, but haven’t had the guts to try it. It is 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda. Anyone out there try this? Any feedback you want to give the cowards among us? With real experience from a friend I might take the plunge. When your grandmother dies, your experience corner is gone and you have to rely on your own hard-won experiences. My grandmother has been dead for quite a few years so i’ve had to rely on my own experimenting, except where friends came forward to share. Make peace with your family before the silence falls – you miss a lot after that happens – the stories, but mostly the life experience. You can either get it from those older than you in your family or you can reinvent the wheel over and over and over again. Why in your family, you ask? Because you share the same culture, tastes, history, DNA. We don’t want to recognize that and try to move on to – ‘my friends are my family’, but it is not true. Your family is your family.
You know, after all these years, and thousands of breakfast conversations I am beginning to understand why so many people have such negative feelings about their families. Mostly, they are trying to change class and culture and family is like a bright red blinking neon sign which makes that more difficult. Either they show up and ‘out you’, or your newly acquired way of speaking, eating, thinking, living are put in jeopardy because family comes along with the old ways and you have to struggle to maintain your new higher status. What a stunner! I guess you all knew that already. Reject your class, race, culture, history, DNA and you are forever conflicted and have heavy conflicts with those who knew you when. AH! Truth telling in a cookie recipe, but then when you reach my age you can take all kind of liberties.
Now – preheat your oven to about 325-350 degrees.
Put the butter in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on almost high speed until it begins to lighten in color and texture. Add sugar and continue to mix while the two blend and become sort of like whipped cream. Then add the peanut butter and mix until all are combined.
In a separate bowl put in flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and mix with a large spoon, picking up a spoonful of the flour mixture and pouring it back into the bowl over and over again to let a lot of air get into the mix. I don’t believe in sifting. You have to do that with non-organic white flour to get the pesticides and the little lumps out before using it – you know, the tiny little lumps in the flour and the black flecks which are the remains of the bugs which were killed in the flour by the pesticides when the flour was in the Silos – where it got an infestation of bugs – which were killed off with the pesticides, left in the flour, with the pesticide residue, to deteriorate and are now the little black specks and little white flour covered lumps you have to sift out before using. Since you are using stone-ground organic whole wheat flour you don’t have to worry about that.
Back to your mixer – once the sugar and peanut butter have been added – crack your organic eggs and add them to the mixer one at a time. Don’t mix too much after adding the eggs.
Gradually add the flour mixture, turn your mixer to low and mix only until the flour is incorporated into the cookie dough. Add the chocolate chips, peanuts and vanilla, again mixing only until they are well distributed. This is the crunch time for baking – too much mixing and you get a tough product – so be careful at this point.
Refrigerate the dough until it is firm – or until you are ready for freshly baked cookies. You can bake these all at once, or you can bake them as you want freshly baked cookies. The dough will last in the refrigerator a couple days. Impress your friends, bake cookies after they have arrived in just a little over ten minutes – the time it takes to make tea and put together a pretty serving tray to gossip over.
We use them for afternoon tea. They are substantial enough to bridge the gap from lunch to dinner without eating too many. The problem is, whenever I eat them I don’t want tea I want hot chocolate. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly, or rice and gravy.
To bake you can have either small bite-sized cookies or larger ones. For small cookies, take a teaspoonful of dough, roll it in your hands to make a ball and put it on a greased baking sheet. The size of the dough you take out of the bowl and roll is dependent upon the size of cookie you want as a final product. They will spread a little when baking, but not much.
These are very rich cookies so you don’t want to make them too large, most people won’t be able to eat a large cookie and they will waste your hard work and hard-earned money by eating a piece and leaving the rest.
Bake these about 12-13 minutes. Don’t bake them much longer than that or the bottoms will burn. They will be soft to the touch when you take them out of the oven and look as though they are not thoroughly baked. Ignore that – they are – these are tricky little cookies. To get a really good final product the baking time is the most crucial stage for these cookies.
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