Christmas Gift Cookbook For the Win!

I can’t believe it’s almost March! I’m a little ashamed to write this post since it’s dealing with some Christmas gifts I received from a very good friend of mine. Who would have thought it would have taken me almost two full months to have an opportunity to bake something with them. One of the very few baking-related gifts I got this year was an excellent cookbook entitled Snackable Bakes by Jessie Sheehan. It was one of New York Times best cookbooks of 2022, and after making a recipe from it, I can see why.

Some Background

This cookbook is an excellent addition to a movement I’ve been noticing in the cookbook/baking sectors over the last year or two: snackable baking. The idea is that the recipes are super simple to throw together with only a few ingredients and limited kitchen tools. These recipes usually create smaller portions, such as a dozen and a half of cookies, or an eight-inch cake. These items can then be easily shared as a snack portion either with friends, loved ones, or by yourself.

One of the first snackable baking cookbooks I was came across was featured on YouTube in late 2021. But since then, I’ve seen more and more cookbooks of this theme. However, since I was one a self-imposed cookbook-buying freeze during most of last year, I haven’t purchased any for myself. To say I was ecstatic when I opened the gift to see this cookbook is an understatement. And once I started thumbing through the recipes, I got so inspired and couldn’t wait to bake one (or them all!)

The Recipe

Though I wanted to bake ALL THE BAKES. I had to choose one as my first bake. I decided on a cookie that would combine two of my favorite flavors together. It’s also a pretty classic and famous combination: peanut butter and chocolate. Add in an extra-large sized cookie and I was sold!

Contest-Winning (Jumbo) Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chips was the recipe of choice. Technically, it’s a variation because the original doesn’t include chocolate. But if you don’t know me by now…I LOVE chocolate and anytime there’s an excuse to add some to a recipe I will gladly take it!

This recipe came together quickly, and I really only needed a bowl, a whisk, and a spoon. Though I adore my stand mixer, sometimes it can be a bit bulky to bring out and it’s a pain to keep clean.

This recipe also required a little-used ingredient in my kitchen: shortening. I’m not opposed to using it since it doesn’t have some really amazing properties, but since I don’t keep it in my pantry, I had to procure some (shoutout to grandma–who doesn’t read my blog, but thanks anyway).

That’s Some BIG Cookies!

Jumbo is correct. These cookies were large, granted not as large as the chocolate chip cookies I made what seems like forever ago. But still, the size and texture of these cookies were amazing. Before baking, you roll the dough balls in some sugar and then top with flaky sea salt.

Doing this brought back memories of childhood and the salt combined with the chocolate was a great addition. I’m not sure what the salt would do with the chocolate chips omitted, so I wouldn’t be worried if you skip the flaky sea salt sprinkle.

This cookbook also doesn’t cut back on one big thing and that’s FLAVOR! An entire tablespoon of vanilla extract is used in this recipe. Lately I’ve been using my own, homemade vanilla, but I was gifted some for Christmas along with this book and decided to give my home-brew a little break. The vanilla and the peanut butter combine to really sing throughout the entire cookie. If you add in the sugar coating on the outside, you are left with a flavorful cookie that crumbles in all the right places and has bursts of chocolate that just make it irresistible.

The only downside to this recipe: it’s going to make me fat since I will want to make these cookies every week. This was definitely an excellent first recipe out of this book and I can’t to make some more. I’ll probably do something completely different next. Such as the Salted Honey Ginger Icebox Cake or the Simple Lattice(less) Linzer Torte. I’m also eager to try the handful of no-churn ice cream recipes.


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