Making Something Out of Nothing for a Father’s Day Treat

Flourless Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found myself awake early this morning at my parent’s house, who I was visiting for Father’s Day. I decided it would be nice to make my dad a treat and began rummaging around the cabinets and refrigerator for ingredients. As people who don’t often bake, my parents had little to work with – for example just 1 tablespoon butter.

Here’s what else I found: 1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips, flour, hard-as-a-rock brown sugar, baking soda, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, grapes, 1 banana, high-fiber cereal, and peanut butter. A few of these ingredients reminded of a recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies that I made once for a group of kids, so I decided to look it up online.

I found a similar recipe on Epicurious.com and made it from six ingredients I found in the sparse kitchen: peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking soda and chocolate chips. Of course, the ingredients I had weren’t ideal: the peanut butter wasn’t chunky as specified in the recipe and it was Smart Balance brand, not Skippy or Jif as I would think the creator had in mind; the brown sugar was almost impossible to work with – I combined it with the liquid ingredients first and worked it with a fork for at least 10 minutes to dissolve most of the lumps.

The cookies turned out really well – they were crispy on the bottom and soft and light, almost airy, on top. The smooth peanut butter worked but I think they would be better with chunky. But this is one of my favorite challenges as a cook – to be creative in making something out of nothing.

Flourless Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip (makes 24 cookies)

1 cup super chunky peanut butter

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, baking soda and vanilla in a bowl and mix until well-combined.  Mix in the chocolate chips and, using moistened hands, roll 1 generous tablespoon dough into a ball. Arrange the dough balls onto two ungreased cookie sheets about two inches apart.

Bake until the cookies are puffed and soft to touch in the center and the bottoms are golden, about 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for five minutes, then transfer the cookies to racks until completely cool.

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