37-Minute Peanut Butter Cookies
With a melt-in-your-mouth-shortbread-like texture…and vegan, of course
I’ve had a day filled with minor annoyances.
The pen leaked blue ink onto my right hand, which fell from my fingers and stained the white table I use as a desk. My jacket zipper got stuck and refused to move when a piece of fabric got wedged in the teeth. The pimple-faced teenager sitting across from me on the tram broke out a McDonald’s burger that filled my nose with fatty aromas of laboratory food. Then I was forced to make my way through a cloud of sweet-smelling vaping smoke as I left the tram. That wasn’t good. But not as bad as smelling the energy drink burp from the perfume-ladened woman just beyond the smoke cloud. I couldn’t wait to get home.
I spent a couple of irritating hours at home trying to work with my uncooperative computer that only wanted to make a song and dance out of every click or swipe I made. I finally gave up. I needed a cuddle, but I was alone for the evening.
At precisely 6:57 pm, I decided to make peanut butter cookies…and I knew I was doing this because I needed to feel good – nothing more and nothing less.
I turned on the oven (the first rule in baking anything) and set the temperature to 165°C (330°F). I gathered one small bowl, two medium-sized bowls, a strainer, a whisk and a small spatula. I lined one baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. It was now 7:01 pm, and I started feeling more enthusiastic.
I added my starch-based egg replacer and a touch of water to the small bowl because I knew it needed a few minutes to soak. I then placed one of the medium bowls on my scale and topped the bowl with the strainer. I measured the amount of flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda I needed. With a quick shake of the strainer, my dry ingredients were ready. I placed the second medium bowl on the scale, added the sugar and oil, and then gave it a quick whisking. Next up…the starch mixture and 1 spoon of water (it always brings me luck), followed by the peanut butter. My dough was complete. It was now 7:17.
It took me 3 more minutes to form 13 walnut-sized balls of dough and gently press them with a fork to leave the distinctive crisscross design. The cookies looked good, and I didn’t want to wait, so they went straight into the oven. I now had 14 minutes to put everything away and clean the dishes…and I even had enough time to make an espresso.
At precisely 7:34:12, I removed the cookies from the oven…37 minutes and 12 seconds after starting the project.
The air in the kitchen instantly changed. Nutty aromas swirled around my head, and I swore I smelled memories of baseball games and nostalgic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I felt whole again. The earlier annoyances vaporized, and I smiled.
I admired my work as the cookies cooled on the rack. Small cracks formed on the surface – a clear indication of a crispy exterior. After 8 minutes of cooling, I slipped a cookie into my mouth. It was comfortably warm. The interior felt soft – it was sweet but not overdone. The taste was dominated by peanut butter deliciousness. It melted and crumbled in my mouth as I reached for a second cookie.
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