When I get stressed out, one thing that always helps calm my mind is baking. This week has been one of those weeks, so I went through what is left of my pantry and whipped up a quick batch with some good ol’ American peanut butter (sent by loving friends—sharing peanut butter truly is caring). I LOVE a peanut butter cookie, but I wanted to doctor up the traditional cookie using oats and adding chocolate (doi). In the name of science, I tested the difference between garnishing with sea salt and keeping the cookie as is. You can see the conclusion above… salt for the win! We Carolines tend to like that sort of thing, now go see for yourself!
Salted Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Jif)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup oats
1 bar of dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
course or flaked sea salt for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla, baking soda, and mix for about 30 seconds. Lastly, add the oats and chocolate chunks and mix until combined. Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes for better handling. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out the dough, then roll into a ball then mash down a bit with your thumb and make sure the cookies are compact, the dough is delicate so keep pushing it together to keep the form. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
Bake for 11-12 minutes—the cookies should still look a little undone in the middle, but golden on the edges. Rest the cookies for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack, as noted before, these are delicate and need the time to settle before being moved. Let cookies sit on wire rack at least 5 more minutes before diving in, mouth first.
I’ve had more than a little insight on myself while living abroad this past year and a half. One of these “ah-ha” moments was realizing that if I don’t have access to something I could have back home, I get an insatiable desire to possess and/or consume it. Even if it’s something that I never really cared about that much before in the homeland. Before we get all Freudian on what that could mean about my psyche, let’s just get into how obsessed I became with Rice Krispie treats. There is no Rice Krispie cereal here in Berlin and therefore, I got a major itch to make Rice Krispie Treats. Thankfully, I had a friend get a box for me in Italy, and another sweet friend sent me a care package with supplies to make the elusive treats. Included in the package was white chocolate chips—her secret ingredient. Around this time, I had a few people tell me about Smitten Kitchen‘s recipe with browned butter and sea salt. I figured that this concoction, plus the addition of white chocolate chips would put this unassuming dessert insanely over the top—and I was extremely correct. So in conclusion, if you want some bourgeois Rice Krispie treats that will blow everyone’s mind, get on it and exercise your right to buy up all the Rice Krispies you can get your hands on and make these.
4 ounces (1/4 pound or 1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
1 cup white chocolate chips
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)
Butter an 8-inch square pan.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly until browned and smelling nutty. Watch carefully, so as not to burn.
As soon as the butter turns golden brown, turn heat to low and stir in the white chocolate until melted. Turn off the heat, add the marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth—return to low heat if necessary.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Once halfway mixed, I butter my hands and get in there to make sure everything is evenly distributed. Immediately spread into prepared pan and press down until even. Let cool completely (ha—yeah right!) before eating. Wait for copious amounts of compliments and proposals of marriage and co-habitation.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen