I recently read an article in Cooking Light about the therapeutic benefits of pie-baking. It stated that spending time doing what you love is linked to lower risk of depression and that pie baking can evoke childhood memories, comfort and happiness. Also, the pleasure of making something, being in control, eating something delicious and sharing it with others is stress-reducing. I definitely agree with the article and think it translates to baking all sorts of desserts, not just pie.
Baking always seems to put me in a good mood. I love tying on my apron, putting on some tunes and spending the afternoon in the kitchen. So, when I’m not in the best of moods and have a couple hours to kill, there’s only one thing I want to do – bake. Such an afternoon presented itself a couple of weeks ago so I decided to whip up something sweet for my co-workers.
I had some Reese’s Pieces that I wanted to use and figured they be the perfect addition to peanut butter cookies. So I quickly whipped up a batch of homemade peanut butter and browsed the internet for the perfect recipe. These cookies originally come from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. Since they are so famous for their cupcakes I actually had no clue they made anything else. But I quickly discovered they sure can make a mean peanut butter cookie.
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
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 Reese’s Pieces
1/2 cup chocolate chips
For rolling: 1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the Reese’s pieces and chocolate chips. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into the sugar, and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not over bake!
It was a definite win-win, the cookies came out great, my mood was improved and my co-workers were happy to have goodies come Monday Morning.