Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

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I have a great love for peanut butter cookies.  I haven’t tried to make them myself until recently.  For some reason, making peanut butter cookies was intimidating and I had a feeling they wouldn’t turn out as good as I imagined them.  I also knew that I could just get one on on of my many visits to Fido and it would be super yummy, as are all of their baked goods.

I ran across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and decided it was finally time that I try to make peanut butter cookies myself.

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I am quite pleased with how they turned out.  I think it’s safe to say that my brother enjoyed them too. I plan to make some more for a trip to the cabins that I have coming up with friends.

Here’s the recipe from Smitten Kitchen:

Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth is what we used, but I am pretty sure they use chunky at the bakery)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern, but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

– I left out the peanut butter chips only because I couldn’t locate my bag, but next time I will use them!  I love the recipes featured on Smitten Kitchen. I plan on trying her hummus recipe in the next few days too.  I’ll let you all know what I think!

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Star Trek Christmas Tree

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Although my apartment was wonderfully decorated for Christmas this year, now that I’m home for break I am really enjoying seeing our Christmas trees everyday.

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Every year my aunt gets my dad a Star Trek ornament.  A few years ago my mom got a slightly smaller tree dedicated to the Star Trek ornaments.  A lot of them talk or light up and it’s really fun to look at.  It’s always a big hit when people come over.

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This is a shot of the whole tree.  I love it!!

Here are a few of the ornaments from our other tree:

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My brother brought this one back from his semester in Vienna this year.

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This one is circa 1995. Oh, the backwards ‘s’ stage.

We had our annual family cookie party over the weekend.  It was a lot of fun.  I had to leave a little early to get to a birthday celebration, but I always love spending time with my family.  I’ve got a little bit of Christmas shopping left to do and am glad to have a couple of days off to get everything taken care of.  I’m starting to get really excited for Christmas day!

Sufjan Stevens, The Christmas Unicorn

On Tuesday evening I went to Chattanooga to see one of my favorite artists, Sufjan Stevens.  He just released a new Christmas album, Silver & Gold, and played a Christmas show for us!  I had no idea he was even touring, but thankfully while I was out of town my friend, Ryne, texted me about it and picked up a ticket for me. We drove down in the late afternoon to get there in time for doors and left as soon as the show was over.  I even got some studying done in the car (in between sing alongs, of course)!

Occasionally, he would take a break from playing original music and someone would come up and spin the Christmas wheel. Everyone would shout at them and make noise while it was spinning.  Sufjan lead us in a sing-along to the song that the arrow landed on.  It was so fun!  I’m a lost cause if that doesn’t keep me in the Christmas spirit.

(This picture taken from Katie’s Instagram)

Of course, we had to look a little crazy and Christmas-y. Practically everyone had some sort of Christmas themed piece of clothing on. It was really fun to look at all of the sweaters.

What’s gets you in the Christmas spirit?  Christmas day will be here before we know it!