Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hiatus Over

I'm back. And I'm eating carbs again. Not like a lot of them or anything but i guess a normal to less than normal amount if you care to know.  Most of it is popcorn.  And here is a bigger shocker if you know me: I'm eating fruit too.  Primarily berries and a few mangoes (fresh! not dried like i used to only ever eat and should not be classified as fruit but as candy) here and there but i did try a cherimoya the other week.  I blame it on my friend for making a berry-filled cake on Memorial Day and reminding me that berries are actually pretty good when they are in season.  Granted, i eat them covered in splenda and greek yogurt but i'm eating them nonetheless.

Not much has been going on since my last post.  Pretty much just normal stuff like coveting pinterest ideas that will never come to fruition, slowly chipping away at work from three months ago so that i'm perpetually three months behind like the competent adult that i am, each day moving the cable box from the bedroom tv to my home office tv and back again because it seems like less work than going down the street to just get another one, and finding then eating something for days on end until i find another new thing to eat for days on end like a mild form of ocd.  We threw a dinner party and a bake sale and I forgot to take pictures. Went on a couple of vacations and to some food events and forgot again to take pictures.  I lost my phone (or rather, drunkenly abandoned it at a drag show) and was forced to get a new one and this time it is a smartphone. I am mostly unhappy about having to type on a touchscreen but i am begrudgingly admitting that it's pretty nice to be able to take pictures whenever I want so this may help my blogging consistency.

Now to the good stuff.  I've been on both a salted caramel and an oatmeal kick so i thought why not combine them?  And add peanut butter!  And make them into a cookie.  I don't know about you but i don't like crispy or dry and crumbly cookies so i decided for the base i'd use my regular soft peanut butter cookie base and replace some flour with oats and add chopped pieces of salted caramel and voila!  It took a couple of half batches to decide on a combination.  In the name of experimentation I just ate more than half a dozen cookies for dinner, and because i don't drink milk i'm washing them down right now with some wine.

They are probably not the prettiest cookies because of the oozing caramel but I think they taste pretty great.  Chewy in texture and while not quite a traditional oatmeal cookie it has enough to give a nice, nutty oatmeal texture in the back of your chewing teeth. If you want it more oaty, use 1.5 cups flour and 1.5 cups rolled oats.  The recipe:

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Salted Caramel Bits 
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup rolled oats (i used thick cut)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional) (technically in my half batches i used "two dashes")
1 stick of butter, softened
9 Tblsp smooth salted peanut butter (you could be daring and use 10 Tblsp)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (i ran out of brown sugar and used 1/4 c equivalent of splenda brown sugar to complete the measurement)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs, room temp
1 cup chopped salted caramels/chocolate chips/butterscotch chips/anything you want if you don't like caramel (i put the caramels in the fridge for a few minutes before i chopped them so they wouldn't just stick back together.  The kind i used was trader joe's fleur de sel caramels) 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.  In another bowl cream together the peanut butter, regular butter, sugars, and vanilla until fluffy, then stir in the dry ingredients until just mixed.  Stir in the chopped caramel pieces. 
Drop dough by heaping Tablespoon-fuls onto the parchment, spaced out with melting in mind (My heaping Tablespoons were more likely 2 Tablespoons each). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the doneness you prefer.  It is okay if they are still unset (they should be) in the center because they will continue to cook a minute or two on the sheet after you pull them out because the sugar inside them is scalding and pulling them out before they are fully set is what makes them chewy.  Cool on cookie sheet for two minutes before moving the parchment to a wire rack to cool completely.

I like cookie recipes that are more forgiving, to cater to your mood, and this one is just that.  Add a little more oats or peanut butter or both, or a Tablespoon of peanut flour etc and it still comes out incredibly edible.  One version i made was with 1.5 cups flour and 1.5 cups oatmeal and that came out just as delicious but i added too much cinnamon to that batch and vetoed it as the final say because i already have a stomach ache and i didn't want to endure another batch-eating.  I am not perfect.  The only thing i REALLY suggest is that you wait until they are completely cooled before eating because when they are still warm they are not as chewy nor as peanut buttery.

Next week we are throwing a pool party so I will have a few other recipes to post, including a potato chip cookie!