Chocolate Thumbprint Peanut Butter Cookies

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I have two stories to tell you.  The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

Story one: My mother was in the Strip District in Pittsburgh and saw a Guittard Chocolate Cookbook.  Missing her eldest daughter and knowing that book is something which will make her smile, buys it for me.

Story two:  My mother was in the Strip District in Pittsburgh and saw a Guittard Chocolate Cookbook.  Looking through it she saw some recipes which looked delicious but she knew there was no way she would ever make them for herself. However, if she bought it for her daughter she could get the daughter to make the desserts and she would get all the deliciousness with none of the work.

Somewhere in these two stories lies the truth… but either way my mother bought me the Guittard Chocolate Cookbook and I promptly decided I needed to to bake something.  Looking at what I had in my kitchen (and oddly having someone who like peanut butter cookies in my house!) I decided to make the Chocolate Thumbprint Peanut Butter Cookies.

I very rarely get to make peanut butter cookies because my husband doesn’t like them and due to peanut allergies I can’t take them to work.  But I really enjoy peanut butter cookies – and adding chocolate.. well… that just makes it the best!

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Black and White Cookies

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Black and White cookies seem to be one of those quintessential New York desserts, much like Babka. I had never heard of them before I started dating my husband and I can honestly say I have never seen someone love them as much as my brother-in-law.

He came to visit last weekend for the Fourth of July and I decided this would be a good time to try this soft and cakey cookie. While mine came out a little too poofy they were still delicious and they taste pretty close to what you would find in bakeries and delis all over New York City.

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Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookies

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Whenever my husband makes Eggs Benedict or I make a bread pudding (or a whole host of other recipes that only use egg yolks) he winds up teasing me for saving the egg whites and never using them.  I dutifully separate the extra egg whites into a small cup, cover with plastic wrap, place into the refrigerator, and in a week or so remember it’s there and throw them away.  Sigh.

But no more!  Now I will make these amazing, easy, and so so tasty cookies!!!

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

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We all have seen I have a problem with chocolate chip cookies.  They are my favorite to make.  My favorite to eat.  I am trying to not overwhelm you all with chocolate chip cookie recipes.  I may be failing but please know I have tried.

But these chocolate chip cookies, these are just too good not to write about.  They are decadent and delicious and deeply delightful.

Plus the recipe makes just a mere 2 dozen large cookies so you don’t have to worry about having cookies hanging around your house too long.

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Strawberry Jam Thumbprint Cookies

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You all remember two weeks ago when I made homemade strawberry mint and black pepper jam.  And it was delicious.  But I completely failed at canning.  And well… despite my best efforts I have not been keeping up with the task of eating it fast enough.  And it is much too delicious to go to waste.  Thus, we have made my version of delicious, buttery shortbread thumbprint cookies.

There are a million variations on the thumbprint cookie.  This one is much closer to a lemon shortbread than some.  And, even though they may not be the most beautiful cookies ever to leave my oven, I really like the lemon when paired with the bright strawberry jam.  It really makes these Summer with a capital ’S’ cookies!

You don’t have to make the homemade jam to make these cookies.  I imagine any good strawberry jam would give you the same delicious summery cookie. Which may be just what you need in the cold of winter too.

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Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Yes I do realize this is the third chocolate chip cookie recipe I have posted.  And I may have a problem but it is one I am willing to live with.  I love chocolate chip cookies.  Homemade chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven, with the chocolate all melty and the edges crisp and delicious – there are few things better in life.

So we have a Halloween version and now we have a Valentine’s Day version.  For this one I highly recommend splurging and getting two different types of chocolate chips (I used good old Toll House and also the Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet ones).  The different chocolates and shapes of the chips really make them seem even more decadent and Valentine’s-Day-special.

Maybe next I’ll come up with Saint Patrick’s Dar and Earth Day chocolate chip cookies…. or my favorite: Bad Day at Work Day chocolate chip cookies.  They will make  you feel better.

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The Holidays

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I am sitting in my mother’s kitchen this weekend. And it has been a wonderful holiday.  I’m always a little sad to see it end and real life kick back in.

But a part of me is also a little relieved and ready for the routine to come back.  My dad died of a brain aneurysm 13 years ago and, even though time has passed, it is always a little sad around the holidays.  My dad loved Santa Claus and Christmas.  He loved the holidays and the food. I make some of his recipes this time of year.  He was never very good at writing them down.  “Put in a pinch of this.  Enough of that.”  Not real big on the ‘cooking as science’ thing.  At this time of year, we tell more stories from my siblings and my childhoods.  I think about him more at the holidays and I smile, but it is also a little sad. As anyone who has lost a family member knows, every holiday, every big event in life, is now a mixture: joy mostly, but a little sad.

My sister, Kelsey, recently started her own non-profit effort, Apricity,  to benefit brain aneurysm research and survivors.  She has t-shirts, posters, and other cool products made by brain aneurysm survivors for you to buy.  The proceeds go to brain aneurysm research and to the survivors who created the artwork. It’s pretty cool and she is very inspiring to me.  She is an Americorps volunteer applying and interviewing for grad school and yet she still has the time, compassion, and guts to jump into running her own non-profit to honor our father and benefit others who suffer from this disease. Check it out…and donate!

Whether you are missing someone or not this holiday season, I hope you have a new year full of peace and joy.

See you next year.