The other night I dreamed I was with my friend Jenn as she was giving birth to her daughter. I was on the hospital bed with her, just up there hanging out ON THE BED WITH HER while she was in labor. (Boundaries much?) It was getting toward the end. She was in a sweaty, altered state pushing that baby down, and when the doctor said, "One more!", she pushed HARD and the baby girl came shooting out like a torpedo. All at once she was here and wiggling on the bed between us. The nurse swooped in just then, to wipe off the baby and wrap her in a soft blanket. Smiling, she held out the newborn to Jenn. The new mom barely looked up. Instead she held up a tired finger and said, "Hold on a minute," and then reached over to a side table where, in a pristine spotlight, there sat the most perfect donut you've ever seen: glazed with shiny chocolate frosting. And big. She tenderly picked up the pastry and proceeded to savor it deliberately, bite by bite, with her eyes closed in rapture. When she (finally) finished, she licked her fingers and her lips, opened her eyes with a giant smile, reached her arms out wide to the dumbstruck nurse and said, "Okay, give me my baby!"
I think this might be the most quintessential pregnancy dream ever. Labor is there, and also a newborn, even a hospital with doctors and nurses. But most importantly: The Donut.
If you swap out the donut for a peanut butter cookie, I would appreciate this dream even more than I do already. The baby boy I'm growing inside me is demanding peanut butter these days (and he's been really bossy about it). I've had funny waves of cravings along my pregnancy journey. The first trimester was very cream-cheese-centric, trimester #2 was all about chicken-salad sandwiches and Arnold Palmers, and now? In the home stretch? Peanut butter. On apples, on toast, by the spoonful and via the best delivery system ever: cookies.
(Bonus: Peanut butter cookies can be Christmas Cookies if you make them at Christmastime!)
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
makes about 3 dozen cookies (depending upon how big you roll them)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (not the natural kind--Skippy is great for cookies)
2 t vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t kosher salt
granulated sugar for rolling before baking
Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix well. Add the egg and vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. Bit by bit, add the flour mixture until just combined. Roll dough into 1" balls, coat in granulated sugar and place on baking sheet 2" apart. Flatten with a fork in a criss-cross fashion and bake for 10-13 minutes or until edges are golden.
P.S. You aren't required to chill the dough before rolling but you can refrigerate for a day or two or freeze it for a week or two.
Happy Holiday time, lovelies!