Thursday, December 8, 2016
Bake a Legend
Here we are with our second Christmas cookie post of the season. I don’t know what makes these a Christmas staple – I think we should eat them year-round!
The story of these iconic cookies begins when Ohio resident Freda Smith was making peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and too late realized she had no chocolate chips. She did have a bag of Hershey’s Kisses though and stuck them on top of the peanut butter cookies.
In 1958, she entered her recipe in the ninth annual Pillsbury Bake-off competition. Her cookies didn’t even place. Instead the winner was something called accordion treats, something nobody in this day and age has heard of, I bet.
Moral of the story – winning is not that big a deal and you don’t have to be a winner to become a legend. (I like that. I hope that saying takes off.)
So here’s how I bake up Mrs. Smith’s cookies
1 cup softened margarine
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Blend these first ingredients together. I usually blend together the margarine and peanut butter first, with the margarine warmish so they meld together well. I also use this great Pampered Chef Measure-all cup to measure the peanut butter. Anybody else have a better idea for measuring it and then getting it all out of the measuring cup?
Next add the rest of the items and blend well.
3 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Stir in the last three ingredients and mix well.
Shape dough into balls. I scoop out the dough with the medium scoop from Pampered Chef – no I’m not a secret consultant. These are the only Pampered Chef products I regularly use, besides, of course, my stoneware.
Roll the dough balls in sugar. I, along with the rest of world, generally roll them in white sugar, but I thought I’d try green and red sugar this year to make them more festive.
Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. As soon as they come out of the oven, press a chocolate star into each one. Some recipes call for Hershey’s kisses, but do people really unwrap them all, or can you buy them unwrapped. Also, I kind of like the taste of the stars better.
Freeze them as soon as they are completely cool and bury them in the bottom of the freezer or they won’t make it to Christmas!