December 13, 2009

Sin: NaCoBakMo, Day 16.

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:38 pm by the Green-Eyed Siren

Note: We may have identified one of the issues preventing folks from making a donation to the Irving Park Community Food Pantry (remember, $25 to this fine organization will result in a nice box of cookies being mailed to you by me, the Green-Eyed Siren, as long as you send me your receipt). It seems that typing a $ in the box before your donation amount is resulting in an unsuccessful transaction. Try it with just a number and see if that does the trick. Don’t forget to send your e-receipt to sirensyncopated at gmail dot com, and include your shipping address!

When one has been a peanut butter fan for essentially her entire life, giving it up cold turkey is pretty difficult. Sad to say, this is precisely what I was called upon to do when Junior was diagnosed with his peanut allergy. It’s not that I’m a peanut butter fanatic or anything, but it’s true that I do enjoy a tasty PB&J every now and again. And, you know, peanut butter on a banana makes for a nice treat. Come to think of it, I have a fantastic recipe for Spicy Peanut Noodles. And how about Thai food? Peanuts are all over the place there. Plus when Halloween rolls around I am particularly drawn to those tasty Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Snickers bars, and all manner of peanut-chocolate combo goodness.

But never mind. I can do this! I can totally live without peanuts. They are utterly unnecessary to my existence. For the last few years I have managed to allow Mr. Unfocused to simply throw away the peanut products that show up in the kids’ trick-or-treat bags. I no longer rescue and hoard a couple in high places out of Junior’s reach, waiting for a moment alone to surreptitiously savor them—followed by obssessive-compulsive handwashing to eliminate any trace of contamination. I have come to accept the lack of “Your chocolate’s in my peanut butter!” “No, your peanut butter’s in my chocolate!” “It’s de-li-cious!” “De-li-cious!” moments in my life.

Or so I thought.

Because last night, in a desperate search to find a cookie I could manage to produce in a timely manner, I remembered the big bag of Hershey’s Kisses I purchased in expectation of making cookies with them. A quick visit to the Hershey website and I found a plethora of recipes before me. And—what’s this?—a recipe for Peanut Butter Blossom cookies. Ohhhh…they looked good. Very good. But we have this little peanut problem. What to do?

Soy nut butter to the rescue!

Yes, a simple substitution and I was prepared to luxuriate once again in Sin City or, at least, a reasonable facsimile thereof. I’ll take it. These cookies provide an experience reminiscent of that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup I jilted without warning five long, long years ago.

Ordinarily I’d be concerned about the issue of peanut contamination for the chocolate portion of this cookie. Thankfully, Hershey is one of the few chocolate manufacturers that appears to be basically trustworthy on the peanut contamination issue. I suspect they make so many plain chocolate products that they can have one whole plant devoted to exclusively to their manufacture. Once you get into the specialty stuff the peanut warnings start showing up, but the basic Hershey bar or Hershey’s Kiss appears to be A-OK. Or at least that’s what I like to tell myself.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a date with a cookie. Don’t wait up.

Peanut Allergy-Safe Kisses

48 Hershey’s Kisses
1/2 cup butter, softened OR shortening
3/4 cup creamy soy nut butter (or peanut butter, if not avoiding)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Additional granulated sugar, between 1/2 and 1 cup, for rolling

Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. Prepare baking sheets with parchment, if desired.

Beat butter (or shortening) and soy nut (or peanut) butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into soy nut (peanut) butter mixture.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.

NEXT UP: An at-home Lucia morning, American-style! Yeah!


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