Winter Treats: Warm Cookies

My husband is a big fan of baked goods, cookies especially. And so I find myself making them every couple of weeks. They are especially nice when it's cold outside.

I usually make mine from scratch. The heat of the oven warms up the house and the scent makes it oh so tasty smelling inside. A hot cookie is a very fine thing to make and enjoy after a walk in the winter woods.

I took a chance and bought tubes of refrigerated cookie dough around Christmas time. It was on sale, half-price, and we were curious. So we bought one tube of peanut butter cookie dough and one of sugar cookie dough.

I made the peanut butter ones for the first time about a week ago, and I hesitate to say it, but they lacked a certain something. The cookies also ended up a bit hard, even though I baked them only 9 minutes (the instructions said 9 to 14).

So this time, I did three things differently. I mixed in about three-quarters cup of actual Jif peanut butter. I added half a bag of dark chocolate chips. And I baked them just 8 and a half minutes.

(A baker's tip: The trick to achieving very SOFT cookies is often to pull them out of the oven after they've puffed up, but before they have sunk back down; which is to say, just before they look completely "done.")

The resulting cookies, you can see above. They were much peanut-butterier, they were soft, and they were (if I dare say so myself) delicious. It was a nice compromise between store-bought dough and making them myself.

Ooh, is that an escaped crumb I see there in the top left? Hands-off! That crumb's mine! *snarf-snarf* What, there's a broken cookie underneath the pile? Well, hmm, that one's mine too! *snarf-snarf some more*

Hot cocoa? Tea? Coffee? They are very nice for dipping . . . Nothing finer than a hot cookie in winter time!

The song: Def Leppard, Pour Some Sugar on Me.

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