Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Cookies. I'm so into them lately. Handfuls while working on my computer. Getting a cup of tea - oops, how did that get into my hand? Uh oh, sugar crash ... need another one, I guess ...
You see my problem, if it could truly be called that.
And I'm wondering, what does it say about me as a person that I'm choosing cookies over all other sweets at the moment? Wouldn't it be great if there was a book where you could analyse yourself by your food choices? Like dreams. Look into my inner self. Cookies ... less commitment than cake, faster than brownies, easier than pie ... I'd say efficiency would define it. Cookies have a really high efficiency quotient.
(I won't bore you with the equation, but parameters include: time spent making, deliciousness, quickness of eating, transporability, kid-friendliness). I am a scientist, after all - have to include an equation now and then!
And, well, efficiency pretty much defines me most of the time ... but did I really need cookies to tell me that? Maybe scrap that book idea after all ...
By the way, I should tell you what the PB&C + Q stands for! These cookies are the result of me tinkering about with quinoa flour (Q). I bought it because quinoa is a high protein, good-for-you grain, and I really like the idea of using some of these unusual flours in my baking. I read up on quinoa flour when I bought it, and found that most people reckon it has a strong, somewhat nutty/sesame taste. So, I thought, what better way to use that flavour than in peanut butter (PB) and chocolate (C) cookies?
PB&C + Q Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen (depending on how big you make them)
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 c raw sugar
1/2 c unrefined brown sugar
1 organic (or free-range) egg
3/4 c quinoa flour
1/2 c unbleached plain flour
1/4 c raw cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
*As always, use organic ingredients when you can. If you don't have quinoa flour, but have quinoa and a coffee grinder or blender - you can make your own flour! Just grind it up. If you don't have sour cream, you can try this out with butter instead. I didn't - I had some sour cream to use up - but I'm sure it'll come out just as lovely with good old butter.
1. Mix together the sour cream, peanut butter, sugars and egg in one large bowl. In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. I sifted them, because my cocoa powder and baking soda tend to clump up (and you don't want a big clump of either in your cookie!).
2. Then add the dry to the wet, and stir gently to combine. Cover the bowl and chill for 30 min or so. The dough is fairly moist for a cookie dough, especially as it warms up (the fats tend to go gooey). So fridging helps you make little balls out of the dough. While the dough chills, preheat your oven to 180C (360F).
3. Then grease or line a cookie sheet (or two) and pull your dough out of the fridge. Roll little tablespoon-sized balls in the palm of your hand and set them in rows on the sheet, at least a few cms apart. When the tray is full, use a fork to press down gently on the top of each ball to flatten it slightly. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for about 10-15 min until the cookies are solid-ish (but not yet hard) to the touch.
4. Remove the tray from the oven and let it sit for about 5 min. As the cookies cool down they become slightly more transferable. So after 5 min or so, gently use a spatula to move the cookies onto a wire rack. They freeze really well, so feel free to put some cooled cookies straight in the freezer for a rainy day.
And saying that, I have just this moment remembered that I have some in the freezer! Oh, glorious day!
Recipe dramatically adapted from the basic peanut butter cookie recipe in my 1969 edition Betty Crocker Cookbook.
How much did this cost me?
I used all organic ingredients in my cookies. I had to use up the sour cream, which was left over from dinner - so we'll call that free. I get 800g of organic peanut butter for $10, so that would've cost me less than $1. The sugars together probably cost me $0.70 (the brown sugar being more expensive ... ). The egg was $0.50. The flours were about $1.30 and the cocoa was $0.30. So, I estimate this large batch of cookies cost me less than $4 to make!
And seriously, put some straight into the freezer ... it may a) save tummyaches and b) you'll love rediscovering them another day!
Enjoy your baking,