For those of you that have read older posts, you know that I was going to be entering a Baking and Pastry Arts program at the college I am employed through. I say “was” because the cost of the knife set, uniforms, and books was a bit more than I could handle this semester, so I’ve delayed it until winter. Part of me was really bummed to have to make that choice, but I was also okay with my choice as it allows me some time to settle into my decision.
Up until a few weeks ago, I was registered to take computer classes. I had no idea what program I wanted to go into, or what job I ultimately wanted. All I really cared about was the prospect of making more money. Then one day, while looking through some work stuff, I peeked at the culinary classes in our course catalog. I was so excited at the thought of taking plated dessert and cake classes! I spent a few days really thinking about what direction I wanted to head in, scared of going into another field I would later learn I didn’t want to work in for the rest of my life. But the more time passes, the more I feel it’s going to be the change I need in my life.
When under a lot of stress, I turn to baking. Aside from my tiny kitchen frustrating me with its lacking counter space, it soothes me. And since this year’s birthday was rather emotionally draining, I decided to bury myself in baking – lots of baking! Not only did I make that lovely cherry vanilla cake, but I also made vanilla bean ice cream and three types of cookies, including these ones! And when I look at times like this, when I feel like an emotional wreck and seem to escape to baking, I can’t help but feel that baking could be my calling. Now let’s hope that gut feeling is right this time around!
I scaled the original recipe down as it said it would make 72 cookies and being as my batch made 28 large ones, I’m quite happy with the decision! These cookies were large, thick and chewy and the most popular of the three kinds I made that weekend. They are full of peanut butter flavor and while I was skeptical about the addition of Reese’s Pieces, I think it added a great bit of texture and extra peanut butter flavor (because is there really such a thing as too much peanut butter?!) These are definitely being added to my go-to-cookie list and will most likely be seen again around the holidays.
Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe Source: Elle’s New England Kitchen
Makes 28 cookies using a 4-tablespoon scoop
For the cookies:
2 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temp
1/4 cup shortening, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Peanut butter mixture (see below)
10 oz bag Mini Reese’s Pieces (I used regular and they were fine)
For the peanut butter mixture:
8 oz peanut butter
2 oz (1 stick) butter, room temp
1/8 cup honey
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven is heating, mix the peanut butter mixture and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
3. In a standing mixer or large bowl, cream the 3/4 cup of butter, the shortening and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each one, then add the vanilla and the peanut butter mixture.
4. Add the flour mixture by the cupful and beat at low speed until fully mixed.
5. Bake 11-13 minutes, depending on size (since mine were larger, they needed about 15-17 minutes.) They will be lightly browned on the edges and puffy in the middle but will set up while cooling.