August. Precious August with its blue skies, breezy heat and armloads of pristine vegetables that, if we had them year-round, would make Californians out of all of us. Back-to-school missives are trying to infiltrate our summer mode and we swat them away like mosquitoes, trying to hold off the inevitable return to schedule and routine.
A day baking in the kitchen doesn't suit my current frame of mind so these peanut butter cookies fit the bill. Just a few ingredients and they take about 15 minutes to throw together and bake. A bit longer if you dip them in chocolate glaze. Store them in the refrigerator—they're even better cold—full of rich peanut butter flavor and the dark chocolate glaze, if you choose to go that route, is a perfect compliment.
Now back to doing nothing in particular, preferably outdoors.
15 Minute Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup white sugar (granulated or powdered*)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch kosher salt
* Granulated sugar makes a crispier, more rustic-textured cookie and powdered makes for a softer, chewier cookie—I prefer granulated but my kids like powdered.
1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. Put peanut butter and sugar into bowl of mixer and beat until combined. Add vanilla, salt and egg and continue mixing until it comes together.
3. Scoop into tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and press down to flatten with the back of a spoon or the tines of a fork. Sprinkle with a little flaked salt if you won't be making the chocolate glaze. Otherwise, sprinkle after frosting. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool and dip in glaze, if you like.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar (bit more if it seems thin, but keep in mind, it will thicken as it cools)
Flaky salt for topping
1. Microwave butter in a medium size bowl until melted. Whisk in cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using), and powdered sugar adding milk as needed to thin (or more powdered sugar if too thin). Turn a cookie upside down and dip into glaze, then flip over and place on a rack and sprinkle with flaky salt. Let harden before eating (you can speed this by putting them in the refrigerator for an hour).