At the very beginning of the year, I signed up for a reading challenge. I challenged myself to read 15 books during 2017. So far, I’m still only part way through my first book, Middlesex. It is very engaging but by the end of the day, I find I have limited time to read. I no longer stay up to all hours engrossed in a novel. Respecting bedtime, I have found, is very important for everyone in my family.
Nonetheless, I continue trying to figure out how to get more time out of a day. Perhaps better planning or choosing to do less tasks (like, learn to accept a messy house instead of cleaning at 10pm) would help? I’m not sure of the answer but I realize that if I want to reach the goal than something else has got to give (or, perhaps the next 14 books should be very short). One thing is for sure, I am unwilling to part from my kitchen. My creative space for making, entertaining and nourishing is something of an escape and therapy for me. Different recipes hold special memories so that amid preparing a dish or dessert, I am suddenly whisked away into a nostalgic space. Baking with others creates new memories.
Therapy is essential after several sleepless nights and stressful days. We’re all been there. The sudden urge for a cookie but its 11pm and you do not live in NYC (where you can get anything at any time of day, for example Insomnia Cookies deliveries warm cookies and cold milk to your home outside of normal bakery hours). The cupboards seem empty but suddenly you look closer and realize that there are chocolate chips hidden behind the canister of flour. There is butter in the refrigerator and you’ve been meaning to use up that natural peanut butter. You’re on your way to making cookies to satisfy your craving. Emergency cookies to the rescue.
One of my favourite cookie combinations is oatmeal, chocolate chip and peanut butter. The time and place that cemented this love, happened in an airport. I had been backpacking in Guatemala and unsuccessfully trying to learn Spanish. I flew into the Detroit airport, passed through customs and the technicolour tunnel of lights and echoes (anyone who has been to this airport knows what I’m talking about!). Waiting for me at the baggage pickup was my boyfriend and my sister. They were holding a huge bristol board that exclaimed “Welcome home, Shauna”! I am such a sucker for cheesy airport meetings (think Love Actually) that I did tear up a little. After hugs and greetings, my sister informed me that waiting in the car, was a tin of freshly baked peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I must have had at least 5 on the way home.
Why are these called emergency cookies? For starters, you bake them when you just need a cookie. Second, the cookie dough can be baked immediately. Usually doughs need some sort of resting period but this one can be popped into the oven as soon as it is mixed up.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes: 2 ½ dozen cookies depending on size
Time: Prep time (20 minutes) + baking time (9-12 minutes per cookie sheet)
227g (1 cup) butter, room temperature or a bit colder
200g (1 cup) brown sugar
100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
190g (¾ cup) natural peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
250g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
90g (1 cup) rolled oats
350g (2 cups) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt (optional for topping)
1. Cream the butter using a hand or stand mixer. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Beat in the peanut butter until combined. Beat in the eggs until well combined making sure to scrap down the side of the bowl. Mix in the vanilla extract.
2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the wet mixture. Mix until just combined.
3. Add the oats and chocolate chips and mix by hand.
4. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto the pan. Form each cookie into a ball, flatten with the tines of a fork and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 7-9 minutes for soft cookies. These cookies cook quickly so if you are uncertain as to whether they are done, slip a spatula under the cookie to look at the bottom. If it is a light brown, your cookies are baked.
6. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
Enjoy warm with a large glass of milk!
Freeze this cookie dough by forming it into a log, wrapping it in wax paper and then placing it in a freezer bag. Let the dough thaw for an hour before trying to bake.
If you tried making this recipe, let me know! Tag your creations on Instagram using the hashtag: #lindenandlavender