I have been guilty of not replenishing my dwindling stock of homemade cookies recently. The mid-week leisure baking sessions of a few months ago have turned into end-of-the-day chaos with time only to prepare main course and accomplish the task of filling bellies of a few hungry boys. When time is so scarce and I am sure you will relate to that, dessert and that occasional sweet snack always sits on the back burner. When my 5-year old expressed his desire to bake a batch of cookies, something he never does, how could I not?
So we sat down with a few books, browsing and tossing recipes around till we settled on a recipe for fudgy peanut butter cookies with chocolate chunks from one of Bill Granger's cookbooks. My son wanted to switch the chocolate chunks for M&M's, so that is exactly what we did. This time around cookie making was a thoroughly fun exercise as I watched him carefully measure the ingredients and painstakingly [albeit very sincerely] mix the dough. When I started laying mounds of dough on the cookie sheet, he was hopping up and down holding a timer, ready to set it as soon as I popped the tray in the oven. 15 minutes later, when the timer went "ding", there were squeals of joy from him and his younger brother who is a very confused toddler and having no clue as to what goes on in this house, is usually content mimicking his elder brother.
It was even more fun watching him blow the cookies because "I'm trying to cool them quickly Mum, so I can eat them!".
FUDGY PEANUT BUTTER AND M&M COOKIES
[Preparation Time : 15 minutes/ Baking Time : 15 minutes/ Makes 22]
1 1/4 cup plain flour
2/3 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp light chunky peanut butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 190oC [375oF]. Grease and line two cookie sheets with baking paper.
In a large bowl combine the sugar with vanilla extract, unsalted and peanut butter. Beat with a hand mixer until light and creamy. Add an egg and continue beating for another minute. In a separate bowl sieve the flour and baking powder. Add this to the egg mixture and mix well. Add the M&M's and mix by hand using a wooden spoon.
Take 1 tbsp of cookie dough, roughly form a round in your palms and place on the prepared tray. Place the cookie dough at least 3cm apart to allow for expansion on baking. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until golden and cooked through. The cookies will still be soft at this stage. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks.
Store in an air-tight container for upto 3 days. These cookies tend to go soggy quickly, but you don't have to worry about storing them for a long time because they will be gone in a jiffy.