Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hot Pad and Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe!

You know what makes me feel old?  Attending the wedding of two of my former students.  Sure, sure, they were a young bride and groom, and it's not like I taught them when they were in kindergarten or anything, but there you have it.  I'm old.  Don't know why former students having babies didn't have the same effect on me.

So anyway, I was torn, because I wanted to make something, but I also love giving off the registry, especially when a couple is just starting out and they have a lot better idea about what they need than I do.  Not that I wouldn't have PLENTY of advice for them in this category after looking at said registry (KIDS!  Register for the pyrex with a LID that costs a few dollars more!  Believe me!), but I feel like I never know what they already have so sticking faithfully to a registry appeals to me.   

Luckily, I love baking, and there were several baking-related registry items that I could group together for an affordable gift, and supplement with a cute handmade potholder.  Best of both worlds!  

I made my potholder using this tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard, and it came out great.  I added an extra layer of the insul-brite to the top-hand section (the piece that actually handles the hot pot) after reading in a different tutorial that one layer might not do it.  I can't remember if the tutorial specifies, but I used single-fold bias tape for my trim since that was all I had in a color that matched. I was able to make it out of scraps from my insulated casserole project, and I must say I do love this fabric for anything kitchen-related; plus the fact that it's not too girly makes it work well for a wedding gift (this potholder is for you TOO, Groom!).

Also doubles as a puppet.

For the lining, I found a yard of this cute vintage fabric in my stash.  It came from my grandma ages ago.  

And finally, I included my all-time winner peanut butter cookie recipe.  It's been gradually adapted by me from a recipe on the Jif jar.  And lucky for you, I will give it to you too, reader, even though you maybe didn't invite me to your wedding.

Beth's Best Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tb milk (I usually use 2% but whatever you have on hand is fine)
1 Tb vanilla (if you've got it, Mexican vanilla really really makes a difference.  So. Good.)
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda

Heat oven to 375 degrees f

1. Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Beat at medium speed until well blended.

2.  Add egg, beat until just blended.

3.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.

4.  Add dry ingredients to peanut butter mixture gradually at low speed.  Mix until just blended.

5.  Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls (I use a cookie dough scoop) about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet (I swear by the airbake sheets.)  Flatten slightly in a criss-cross pattern using the tines of the fork, if you are a peanut butter cookie traditionalist like I am.

6. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes.  Cookies should be slightly underbaked when you pull them out.  Let cook for at least two minutes on the baking sheet before carefully moving them to a wire rack to cook (I use a spatula since the cookies are still pretty tender at this point).  This will help them stay chewy!

Makes about 3 dozen.  

Let me get those for you!

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