Monday, January 27, 2014

Indulging a Bit of Self Pity with a Sweet Treat

We all have days/weeks/months where little (or big) things have us feeling just a wee bit sorry for ourselves. When that happens to me, I try to get out of it as quickly as possible and I've found that the best way to deal with it is to indulge the self pity in a small but potentially impactful way. Now those of you who know me in real life, know that I'm not much of a shopper, that I like to cook and bake and that a bubble bath goes a long way (heck---my blog readers know that about me!). I had a situation this past weekend that sent me into self-indulgence mode.

I have many pets (or had) and have often said that when I die I want to come back as one of them. They are very well cared for and tend to live long lives. Well, this past weekend, I had to put one of my cats down (and she was the second cat I've had to put down this month alone). Misty definitely lived a good, long life. She was 21 years old (I literally have her birth records) and had recently gone into full kidney failure. As a result, Misty was anemic, had lost a lot of weight and was dehydrated--all due to her kidneys no longer functioning. Leading up to this outcome, Misty and I spent quite a bit of time together. Here we are snuggling a few nights ago:

Misty's death came three weeks after Max's. Max was a twenty year old rescue whom I found over ten years ago in an animal shelter in Oakland, CA. He was such a sweet guy but he finally succumbed to hyper thyroid disease and had gone from 19 pounds in his prime to less than five. 

After spending Saturday morning at the vet's office, I decided to do something I NEVER do---shop. Now, I really like to online shop but as far as I'm concerned, malls and shopping centers are a waste of time (yeah I know---I don't have the shopping gene). Saturday, however, I decided to spend several hours in Bed, Bath & Beyond, catching up on the shopping I needed to do for several home projects. I also decided to purchase the ingredients for my final act of self pity---baking (and eating) a couple of recipes of luscious, ooey, gooey indulgent cookies. I'll just share one recipe here, today, but will share others in the future. Whether you're looking for a little indulgence or looking to satisfy your sweet tooth for peanut butter and chocolate, these fit the bill. They also freeze really well, which is what I did after eating two (that actually did the trick!) so don't feel bad about controlled indulging!!! The recipe (which I have included below) is from Beantown Baker and it is delish! I believe it calls for regular sized muffin pans and peanut butter cups but I used the mini versions of both. Doing this, the recipe made 42 cookies and each one is just enough to satisfy my need for a little indulgence. Here are a few pictures that I took during the process as well as the recipe. Enjoy!!!

P.S. If you're looking for more great recipes, check out the Beantown Baker's awesome site by clicking here!

Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Cups
For the Peanut Butter Cookie Layer
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
14 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, frozen (0.55 ounces each)
For the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Layer
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
For the Ganache Layer
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
7 0.55-ouncce Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, frozen (0.55 ounces each)
For the peanut butter cookie crust
Heat oven to 350˚F. Mix butter and sugar until creamed in a large bowl. Mix in egg and peanut butter until smooth; stir in flour and salt. Grease 14 cups of 2 muffin pans and press dough evenly into the bottom of the cups. Bake at 350˚F for 12 minutes or until light golden brown and set. Immediately press a frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup into the center of each cookie cup. Let cool 5 minutes, then remove from pan, place on wire racks, and allow to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
For the peanut butter cookie dough
Add the butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and mix until creamy. Mix in the milk and the peanut butter, then stir in the flour and salt. Spread the peanut butter cookie dough evenly over the cooled cookie cups.

For the Ganache
Place chocolate chips and cream in a small microwavable bowl; microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Continue stirring until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Place dollaps of ganache on top of the cookie dough layer. Place cookie cups in the refrigerator for an hour or until ganache is set. Cut Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in half and garnish cups with them, if desired.