Peanut Butter

You’ll fall for these peanut butter cookies that can be enjoyed year-round and dressed up for special occasions. Get cookie recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Call it tradition, call it an excuse to eat sweets, but December calls most of us to bake cookies. My family’s cookie routine starts just after Thanksgiving, when we prepare Vanilla Bean Cookies and Chocolate Rum Balls so that they can “ripen” in time for Christmas. Many other cookies follow, with old favorites and new flavors filling the holiday platter when the family finally gathers.

Many holiday cookies only appear once a year, but I always add some all-occasion cookies to the plate. I tackled peanut butter cookies this year. These cookies have been around for close to a century, with most sources attributing the classic crosshatched pattern to a 1930s Pillsbury cookbook. But many recipes specifically avoid natural peanut butters and instead pile extra sweeteners onto commercial peanut butters already heavy on the sugar and hydrogenated oils. Recipes I’ve tried that call for freshly ground peanut butter turn out more peanut slab than cookie. By testing and tweaking basic cookie ratios, I came up with a version that can be enjoyed year-round and dressed up for special occasions.
Learn to make Freshly Ground Peanut Butter Cookies and Peanut–Ganache Thumbprint Cookies

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Sour Cream

You easily get the best flavor from the fewest ingredients by making sour cream at home. Get homemade sour cream and cookie recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.Sour cream is one of my guilty food pleasures. I eat it regularly, sometimes daily. I eat it at breakfast with crepes and baked into Sour Cream Scones with Tart Cherries. It goes in creamy dressings for potato and other salads. It’s the base for dips and midday snacks. I put sour cream on baked potatoes, tacos, and empanadas. And I use it in desserts, including cookies.

I call sour cream a “guilty pleasure” because it can be high in calories and fat. Most commercial reduced-fat and nonfat versions are primarily whey, modified food/corn starch, salts, stabilizers, and artificial gums—not a good alternative. So if I’m buying sour cream, I read the labels closely and buy full-fat versions that only list “cultured cream” or something similar as the ingredient. But you can easily get the best flavor from the fewest ingredients by making sour cream at home.
Learn to make Homemade Sour Cream and Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

All-Occasion Cookies

Holiday cookies can take work, and sometimes you want simple yet delicious sweets worthy of the tray. That’s where this week’s recipes come in. Learn to make Triple Gingersnaps and Snickerdoodles.
It’s hard to imagine the winter holidays without cookies. But what is a Christmas cookie? Ask three people to name one, and you’ll likely get three answers. Still, the answers likely have things in common. They probably require special tools or rich ingredients. They likely involve loads of time messing with cookie cutters, icings, and extra decorations. Most of all, they—and all the other cookies on the holiday tray—are likely only made once a year.

Despite the effort that goes into Christmas cookies, I’m often overwhelmed by layers and sugar and, after the third pass of the tray, want something just a little sweet and a little simple. That’s where this week’s cookies come in. They’re simple enough you can make them any time of the year. They’re also easy to make ahead, freeze, and pull out freshly baked just before serving. And they’re still so delicious they can hold their own among fancier creations.
Learn to make Triple Gingersnaps and Snickerdoodles