Growing up, my brother and I had completely different approaches to food. He was the kind of person who would forget to eat, who wished he could take a magical once-daily pill to fulfill his nutritional needs rather than taking time out for several meals (luckily, he has since reversed that mindset). I, on the other hand, regarded meal time as sacred, and often wondered what was for breakfast soon after finishing dinner. For me, food isn’t about sustenance. It’s not even about achieving optimal nutrition (I’ll devote my next blog to that, I swear), or eliminating grains or spending the least amount of money or cooking the most complicated meals. Food is, more than anything, an experience of deep pleasure.
There are any number of factors that contribute to food’s pleasurability: did I eat well yesterday? Did I get some fresh air and exercise today? Am I hungry now? Where did these ingredients come from? Do I have time to truly focus on this meal? With whom will I be eating? If all systems are go (and let’s face it, all systems are rarely go–it’s nice if two or three line up, though), I’m in for a meal that is bound to satisfy my hunger and my appetite for life in some crazy, deep way.
One food that never fails to please is this: Best Yet Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies. These guys and I go way back–all the way to that time I was five and claimed a freshly prepared bowl of dough for my own and grabbed the largest spoon I could find. (That won’t happen again.) I have a fading scar on my right arm when I got too close to a hot baking sheet of these pups (patience!). Needless to say, BYCCOPB cookies and I have been together through thick and thin, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. This recipe is a classic, it’s tried and true, and it’s 100% pleasurable.
Best Yet Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies
3/4 c. quick oats
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 T. vanilla extract
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
10 oz. chocolate chips, Ghirardelli bittersweet is my favorite
Preheat oven to 325. Stir together oats, flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy and beat in vanilla and peanut butter. Add egg, and gradually beat in flour mixture. Add chocolate chips, beating until just combined. Form rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly. Bake cookies for 15 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes and transfer to racks to cool for just as long as you can stand it.