Thursday, May 15, 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s been my experience that at some point, almost every Monday, I will hear the following exchange:

“How’s it going?”
“You know: Monday.”
“Yup, I hear ya.”

Very rarely this short dialogue takes place on the subway or at the gym, but more often than not, I hear it around the hallways of my office, or in the communal kitchen, or the restroom, or the elevator during lunchtime…there have been Mondays when I hear these exact words repeated three or even four times. At that point, all I can think of is Office Space and the one employee who accuses the other of “having a case of the Mondays.” Then I inevitably wonder if I’ve been sucked into the farce-like universe of corporate culture, and double check that I hadn’t left my soul waiting for me at home.

I’ve found that free food brightens any day at the office, whether it is a dispiriting Monday, a promising Friday, or an average Thursday. And in my office (or at least the area where I and my other colleagues-slash-cooks sit), free food has become the rule rather than the exception. To my knowledge, no one has been complaining about this.

And it had been about two weeks since I last brought in an office treat, so I figured it was my turn. And what makes a group of workers more motivated than chocolate mixed with peanut butter?

Absolutely nothing, that’s what.

So today, I treated my co-workers to this slight variation of a Nestle recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (baked as a pan cookie). And being a particularly arduous Thursday in my assistants' corner of the office, I like to think that these cookies made everyone's day a bit less exasperating. They made my day, too: I received a glowing performance review from them all.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 3 ½ dozen

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) milk chocolate chips
Granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour and baking soda in small bowl. Beat butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Press down slightly with bottom of glass dipped in granulated sugar.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set but centers are still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 4 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
For pan cookies:
Prepare dough as above. Spread dough into ungreased 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack.

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