Long post - recipe at the bottomI gave away my cookie cutters over a decade ago. All of them. The little Christmas tree, the Santa head, the gingerbread people, the stocking, the star -- I kept one round biscuit cutter, because sometimes, you want a neat, round biscuit. Why on earth would I do something so rash, so permanent?
Better to ask, why on earth did I keep trying to do that which did not work? Most Christmases (and it was only Christmas - I did not try to do St. Paddy's Day shamrocks or anything like that) I'd pull out some cookie recipe, mix it up, chill it good, flour my surface, roll it out, and make a big mess of unrecognizable thingies ("Uh, Aunt K-Sue, is this supposed to be a stocking? 'Cause it looks like a tube sock.") (No, they don't really call me Aunt K-Sue; that's just my nom de blog) Anyway, continuing after the back-to-back parenthetical comments...I was a cut-out cookie wash-out. And you know, someone always gave us a little package of pretty cutouts, all decorated, that I could put on our cookie tray along with my little plain drop cookies. So I tossed in the towel, and gave away my cookie cutters, trusting that if the Lord wanted us to have beautifully decorated cut-out cookies, He'd touch someone's heart to give us some, and I'd give them something they like but don't make, like jambalaya. Ah! Sweet liberation!
Then I started doing bar cookies. Then the ones where you make a roll, refrigerate, then slice and bake. Easier and easier! I have never looked back wistfully, wishfully, at the cookie cutter days.
This would probably make a great pre-Christmas post, liberating somebody, but there is a timely message in it for now. Eventually.
Then one day I spied Nestle's Toll House break-and-bake cookie dough. I took a chance on one package and discovered that they delivered! The cookies were as good as the ones I made from the recipe on the back of their package. I declared that I might not ever make cookies from scratch again. And for several years, I didn't. When the Break-and-Bakes would go on 2-fer sale, I'd buy a half-dozen, toss them in the freezer, then pull out as many as I needed to bake cookies for Children's Choir, friends coming over, or, using the toaster oven, a few just for us two (we were just two during those no-scratch-cookie years).
Now, I have baked some scratch cookies since then, though I still lean heavily toward the easy cookies. I really love making Nanny's peanut butter cookies - super easy! But those Break-and-Bakes have remained a staple in this household. In fact, I just stocked up when they went on BOGO sale at Publix. So you can imagine my disappointment when I read that ALL Nestle's Tollhouse refrigerated cookie dough products have been recalled.
They tell us that they are casting a broad recall net as a precaution - good thing, 'cause some of those cookies are already beyond recall. Well, we recall them - "yum, yum - remember those cookies?" Nobody got sick around here. Nevertheless, I packed up the other 6 packages and head back to Publix. After receiving my refund, I went back to the refrigerated cookie dough shelf and looked wistfully at the spot reserved for Nestle's. I bought 3 packages of other cookies (1 Pillsbury and 2 organic I cannot remember the name). But I look forward to Nestle's getting their plant cleaned up and restocking that shelf.
Nanny's Peanut Butter Cookies
1 c. peanut butter (crunchy or creamy - your choice)
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
Beat peanut butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. Roll into balls, then flatten each slightly with a fork. Bake 350 degrees, 10 minutes.