The house fills with the warmest aroma of the fruit of the cacao pod, gushing forth from the opened oven door. The amalgamous cluster of cookie dough- the richest of butters, the finest of flours, the sweetest of sugars- oozing forth from the deep chocolate oases, speckled with the salt left behind by the vanishing sea. Crisp on the outside, supple within. Sensually delicious all over!
Laurel and I were heading to the same Thanksgiving dinner. She asked me a couple weeks earlier what I was bringing and I mentioned cookies. She gasped in unbelief and says, “Me too!” Naturally, the question that follow’s is “Which kind?” And without hesitation, I answered chocolate chip.
A little bit to know about Laurel, she has stumbled across a chocolate chip cookie recipe that, in our circles, has begun to solidify her name. You might not like a whole lot about Laurel, “But my! Have you tried here chocolate chip cookies? And oh, they’ve got just the perfect bit of salt for that sweet’n’salty combo!” The conversation goes.
So while I did plan on making cookies, I had no intention of making chocolate chip cookies. I stumbled across some cookies I made a couple years ago on my Facebook memories. Peanut butter cookies with cranberry sauce in the center. Think what you want, but I love them considering my favorite food is…PB&J.
But Laurel didn’t know that, and she didn’t need to. So I woke up Thanksgiving morning, after days of prodding instigation and sent her the little poetic vignette. With rapid fire she answered, “Sounds a lot like the cookies I made.”
I’ll spare you the obscenities she hurled my way- none really- but before a war of words and gifs, she offered, “Do you want a fist fight for Thanksgiving, Rupert?”
The cookies I actually made:
The recipe needs a bit of work but feel free to try it out. Yields about 30 1/2 dollar sized cookies.
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
Preheat oven to 350f/175 c.
Combine first three ingredients in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the butters until smooth. (An electric mixer helps.) Add in the sugars and whip until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla until combined. Combine with dry mix.
With a table spoon, scoop balls of dough onto a greased/ parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly. (Bigger scoops than mine will make more room for jelly!) Bake for 8 minutes.
While the cookies are in the oven, bring the cranberry sauce (or whatever jam or jelly you’d like) to a boil. Once it begins to bubble, lower it to a simmer, stirring frequently. As it loses some of its water, it will thicken slightly, about 3 minutes.
After 8 minutes, remove the cookies from the oven, and with your finger or a spoon, create small indentations in the surface of each cookie to make room for the jelly. Scoop a 1/4 tsp of the cranberry sauce into the cookie dimples (unless you have room for more. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. This will allow the cookie to become crisp on the outside and the cranberry sauce to hold its place.