Is anyone else sick of this heat? I swear I really can't take too much more of this. I proposed a weekend trip up to Maine, but my family just laughed it off. Hey, I was serious! Even a walk of a few blocks leaves me dripping sweat and as red as the strawberries at the farmers' market. I do hate to complain, but I believe I've kept my mouth shut long enough.
The excruciating heat left me no choice but to stay inside all day; rather than rot my brain out watching television, I decided to hole up in my kitchen, pretending that it was fall and that the chill of the air conditioner was actually a crisp, autumn breeze. When I closed my window shades and turned on an old movie, I was able to escape into my own little world, and I was unbelievably happy.
One of my good friends is turning 18 tomorrow. Because she is a fellow fall-lover, I chose to make her something a little special and a little spicy- something out of the ordinary. We have very similar tastes in food, clothes, music, and just about everything else. I love to bake for her because I can experiment and play around, and she will still enjoy whatever comes out of the oven.
So many things have been floating around my brain lately. My mind ran around from pumpkin muffins to gingerbread to cinnamon buns to a caramel bread pudding. Each idea got me more and more excited. I deliberated between all of those drool-inducing recipes, but I changed my mind. I decided that I would save those recipes for later and make something that was still fall-oriented but also included the chocolate and nuts that I've been craving for some time now.
These cookies could have been over the top. So many different flavors playing against one another can either have marvelous or horrible results. Luckily, these ended up in the former category. The cinnamon didn't really taste like cinnamon. Instead, it was a sort of background noise that gingerly tickled the tongue, almost tasting like cayenne or black pepper. The nuts brought great crunch and helped create that salty-sweet contrast that everyone loves. And the chocolate? Well, who doesn't like a little chocolate?
Nutty Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup salted peanuts
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugars together in a stand mixer. Add in the peanut butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla extract. Fold in the peanuts and chocolate chips. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Cool on a wire rack. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon and with a glass of hot chocolate.