For years now, my mom has been making a white chili instead of the heartier red chili as a family comfort food during colder months. Aside from comfort, it's also been an easy go-to dish to feed a large gathering, and since Mom and I have been hosting annual Oscar parties for over a decade, mom's chicken chili has always been a welcome respite from the February cold.
Some days, you just need to have a fresh-from-the-oven cookie. Cookies come in all shapes and sizes, colors, flavors, and textures but the true nature of a cookie is to provide comfort, going back to infancy. One of the first solid foods given to babies are teething biscuits and as a young child in the grocery store I was given a “purse” of animal crackers to carry around in the red, shiny box with the string on top. Part of my after school snacks were Nilla Wafers, Oreos, or Keebler Shortbread Stripes with milk and between classes during college, I’d often buy a fresh-baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookie from the campus cafe to tide me over. I have a long and sentimental relationship with the humble cookie.
While, I usually advocate for making an entire batch and freezing the unbaked dough, it can be messy and time-consuming as well as clutter up your kitchen with cookies. Cookies, are the ultimate temptation due to their unavoidable nature, if you’re a sweet tooth like me. This recipe is great as a quick gift, an easy snack to make with children, a thrown-together dessert when having a friend for dinner, or a simple, impulsive treat anytime.
I first found this recipe years ago on Picky Palate, and have since made many of Jenny’s recipes because they are as enjoyable as they are approachable. This singular cookie is the epitome of a kitchen sink cookie because I found that you can use brown butter instead or omit the peanut butter in lieu of oats or cookie butter and add any mix-ins you may have on-hand, like leftover holiday candy. For example, I used Rolo caramel candies and chocolate chips in this iteration. This cookie takes only a few minutes to form the dough (I use an 8oz glass measuring cup or small bowl and a fork) and around 20 minutes to bake.
Now that you’ve been warned, please your inner child by rewarding yourself with a cookie you don’t have to share.
Please be advised, this recipe is addictive because it comes together quickly and the ingredients are easily interchangeable.
Peanut Butter Reese's Pieces Giant Cookie for One
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup Reese’s Pieces (or alternate candy of your choice)
1/4 cup chocolate covered peanuts (or chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small mixing bowl whisk the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla mixing until well combined. Stir in peanut butter then add flour, soda and salt. Mix for a couple turns of the spoon then add the Reese’s pieces and peanuts until combined. Scoop onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
One of the things I fell in love with in Vienna was Haas & Haas, a quaint tea shop tucked behind the huge cathedral in the middle of the beautiful-cobblestoned city. Part of their tea fare was this lovely biscuit with a sweet cream dollop and raspberry jam; the perfect amount of sweetness when you pile them all together, daintily as you should, while at a tea house.