LovEvolution, Barbecue and Peanut Butter Weekend

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The city celebrated L-O-V-E this weekend at San Francisco LovEvolution (fka LoveFest and The Love Parade). Thousands danced their way down Market to Civic “in the spirit of tolerance, respect, peace, justice, and yes evolution, and—yes love.”

So what if it felt more like an excuse for 16 year-olds from the East Bay, co-eds and middle-aged nekkid men to get smashed, wear glitter and flash people. There’s a lot worse you could be doing on a Saturday afternoon.

I felt it—love was aaaaalllll around.

In honor of the occasion (and because of the b-day barbecue I was invited to after), I baked peanut butter cookies. A first for me. I’m not really sure why I associate peanut butter with love—not sexy love but warm, life-is-good love. Peanut butter is just one of those things that makes me happy. I suppose I’m also just feeling really grateful right now for all the little blessings in my life.

Anyway, I could have gone with the flour-less, butter-free kind of cookie, but opted instead to keep it classic with a Dorie Greenspan recipe I found on Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats.

Super simple to put together, the batter was made and 3 batches of cookies were baked in an hour and a half.

To the batter, I added roughly chopped unsweetened 73% dark chocolate and left out the peanuts (Why? Because I felt like it.)

My favorite part of the recipe was the inclusion of nutmeg in the batter. It was an unexpected flavor layer which I thought mixed beautifully with the flavors from the peanut butter and chocolate. I was also totally into the batter itself. I don’t know if it was the peanut butter, the eggs or what that made it so fluffy. Actually, it reminded me of the Japanese peanut butter I love so much—whipped, sweet and marshmallow-creme creamy.

I was surprised how much I liked these cookies—they were pretty popular at the bbq too (^_^). Again, nutmeg was the superstar ingredient here that really pulled it all together. (Is it normally included in peanut butter cookies? I don’t know…) Texture was also really good—soft and chewy. Definitely a winner recipe from The Greenspan. 😛

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Feel-the-Love Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Crisscross Cookies (taken from Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats and adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

pinch of nutmeg

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup peanut butter (not the “natural” type—I used creamy.)

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I reduced this to 3/4 cup.)

3/4 cup sugar (I used evaporated cane sugar and reduced the amount to about 1/2 cup.)

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups chopped salted peanuts (I replaced this with roughly chopped 73% dark chocolate.)

About 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling (Again, I used evaporated cane sugar.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
  2. Working with a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment (or hand mixer and a large bowl), beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy, one to two minutes. Add peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat 3 minutes more. Add eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing only until they just disappear. Mix in the chopped peanuts.
  3. Pour the 1/2 cup sugar into a small bowl. Working with a level tablespoonful of dough for each cookie, roll the dough between your palms into balls, then roll in sugar to coat. Place two inches apart on baking sheet. Dip the tines of a fork into sugar and press the tines against each ball of dough twice, making a crisscross pattern.
  4. Bake 12 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back at midway point. When done, cookies will be lightly colored and still a little soft. Let cookies sit on baking sheet a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks. Repeat with remaining dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.

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