Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Homemade Nutter Butters

Everyone in life has a few precious things that bring them back. Bring them back to a sweet memory, perhaps when they were carefree, without pain, in love or maybe even when they were a child. These memories do not come often, and when they do, I want to cherish the moment. I want to squeeze every second of nostalgia and joy out of it. I want to stay in that precious memory forever. But, alas, this is not life. And unfortunately, if you're anything like me, you're quick to forget how incredible those few seconds were. Sometimes you just need a reminder.
This weekend, I sat in the passenger side of a jeep, blazing through the winding roads of Cape Cod with the top down, Dave Matthews blaring and wind in my hair. The sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Everyone we passed was just as blissful as we were. And for just a few seconds, I forgot that work was stressful. I forgot that I was living paycheck to paycheck. I forgot that I had responsibility, fears, anxieties and struggle. And it was magical.

Food, really, is one of those things. It cannot take away your problems, no. But it can bring you to a moment where things seemed easier. For my roommate, and co-baker, these treats reminded her of sitting in the back of a Sebring in between soccer games, and for me, a college road trip where this was the clear winner at a run down gas station.

So last night, amidst the grind of day to day life, we escaped to a different time. One where we had less to do, less to think about, and less to keep us up at night. And it was wonderful. So, maybe, this might not be it for you, but if nothing else, you'll enjoy these (time consuming) sweet little treats. And maybe just maybe, these will bring you back to a time that you can always revisit. Just take a bite.

Homemade Nutter Butters
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup extra sugar for rolling

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

1. In a large bowl with mixer beat butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds on medium-high speed. Lower mixer to medium and add eggs and vanilla continuing to mix until combined. Turn mixer to low and add in flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until combined. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour, minimum. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°
2. Once dough is chilled, roll into 1/2 inch balls and then form into a log shape. Roll the log-shaped dough in extra granulated sugar and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Using a fork press down on cookie creating a criss-cross pattern. Pinch the center to create the peanut shape.
3. Bake for 6-8 minutes until edges are lightly golden (**ours took closer to 12-15). Cool on baking sheet 2-3 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to continue cooling. (**You might want to experiment with the size soon. Our first 30 were far too big!!***)
4. For the filling, in a large bowl beat butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar and turn mixer speed up to medium and beat until filling is smooth. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
5. Spread a heaping tablespoon of filling onto the bottom of one of the peanut butter cookies and then top with another cookie to create sandwich.

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