The most heavenly combination in my book is peanut butter and jelly. Not chocolate and peanut butter, not french fries and ketchup, not pork and BBQ. Don’t get me wrong, these are all nice and delicious, but peanut butter and jelly makes my heart sing.
It’s weird because I didn’t like PB&J sandwiches as a kid. My sandwich of choice in elementary school was bologna and cheese (mmm, bologna. Honestly though, I still secretly like a bologna and cheese sandwich every once and a while, especially when I stuff the sandwich with BBQ chips). I think I started liking PB&J when I discovered strawberry jelly, as opposed to grape. Bleck. Artificial grape is THE most disgusting taste ever. It reminds me of everything wrong with childhood – cough syrup, fluoride at the dentist, nasty Jolly Ranchers…ugh. Once strawberry jelly came into my life, however, PB&J became my choice of fuel during swim meets, tennis matches and track meets in high school.
I love PB&J oatmeal, PB&J dessert bars, and I’m sure I would have loved PB&J ice cream if only I could have convinced Doug to try making it at Bruster’s last summer. I mean really, who wouldn’t like a fat scoop of peanut butter and jelly ice cream?! (Don’t answer that, I know the majority of people would say no, which is devastating).
Anyways, when I saw a recipe for PB&J thumbprint cookies on BGSK last week, I suddenly had a wave of nostalgia and a dire urge to eat peanut butter and jelly.
One problem: the recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk, but all I could find in my pantry was evaporated milk. Solution: I tried making my own. I think it turned out right – the milk was deliciously sweet after I let the 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup granulated sugar mix reduce by half.
The cookies themselves actually tasted better the next day – usually I’m a huge advocate of eating baked cookies right out of the oven (well, not RIGHT out of the oven – a burnt tongue is total buzzkill), but I could taste the peanut butter much better the next day. These cookies were really easy to make and I think all thumbprint cookies are pretty – the glossy, vibrant jelly is just screaming “EAT MEEEE!” These cookies will definitely take you back to the brown bagging days of elementary school (or high school, if you are like me).
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 egg yolk
– 1 stick butter
– 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 1 cup all purpose flour
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1.5 tbsp smooth peanut butter
– 3 tablespoons condensed milk (you can make a substitute with 2 parts milk to 1 part sugar)
– Seedless jelly/jam (I only had raspberry jam with seeds)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Gradually mix in the flour and salt until combined. If you have to make your own condensed milk, go ahead and heat 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of sugar in a small saucepan. You don’t need to bring the milk to a boil – just let the milk lightly simmer for 10 minutes. Mix the milk with the peanut butter until combined. Form the dough into 24 smallish balls on two greased cookie sheets, then make a thumbprint in each dough ball. Fill the prints with 1/2 tsp of the peanut butter mixture, then bake the cookies for 6 minutes. After the six minutes, take a spoon and make each indention deeper if needed, then fill with 1/2 tsp of jelly. Bake the cookies for another 4-6 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies rest on the pans for a couple of minutes before transferring to a plate – it keeps the middle from falling through.
In other news, I saw Toy Story 3 today. Oh man, where Shrek 4 failed, Toy Story 3 succeeded, in a BIG way. TS3 was the first solo directing gig for Lee Unkrich, who has apparently been at PIXAR since its beginning. He has been a co-director, writer, etc. before, but I could really see his influence in this movie – I have never seen a PIXAR movie with such dynamic camera movement! It was like watching a live action movie and I felt like I was watching the toys in a whole new light. The graphics were also mind blowing. I feel like CGI tries too hard to seem real, while the crisp, detailed and colorful graphics in PIXAR movies don’t cross that border.
I have to admit, TS3 wasn’t as funny as the first two, but the story was great and Ken is definitely my new favorite character (Michael Keaton did a super job). And yes, I cried at the end. Anyone from my generation can relate to the storyline in TS3 – I mean, we grew up with those movies, for heaven’s sake! Ugh, it was so bittersweet, but I loved it. Also, I LOVE how they gave a shout out to Miyazaki movies with Totoro during the movie. Kudos to you, PIXAR.
Um, on a side note, has anyone seen that preview for the weird owl warrior movie? I don’t get the premises for it at all – I can’t help but laugh every time I see the preview. I mean really, owls with Thor masks? Whatever.