Because Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut

So much for diet and exercise.

When I got up yesterday it had been a pretty crappy night, and was shaping up to be a fairly crappy day. I haven't baked, really baked, for just the sheer enjoyment of it in what felt like forever and it seemed like a really good time to remedy that. It's not really that I want cookies, it's that I want to bake cookies. Usually this means I'll end up eating a lot of cookies anyways, because then they're there, but this isn't always a good thing so I try to find other people or places to bring them to. I'd planned on baking later in the week for Val, Rob's awesome landlady who gave us free tickets to the Philadelphia Auto Show, and I think the majority of these are going to go to her. I guess I'm lucky at least I'm an emotional baker and not say an emotional shoe shopper, because cookies and brownies you can give away but people might think it weird if I started offering them new stilettos or something.
Somehow during the day it came into my head that the unopened jar of cashew butter sitting in the pantry needed to be made into cookies. I bought it a week or two ago - it's one of those things I've always been intrigued by but seemed unnecessary until that shopping trip - but didn't really know what I was going to do with it despite the fact that I can think of tons of things to do with regular ol' peanut butter. Most prevalently yesterday, cookies came to mind, and particularly really absolutely disgustingly rich comfort food cookies, and it just kind of snowballed. I started out with my favorite pb cookie recipe and added in all the things that sounded essential: honey-roasted cashews, dark chocolate, and butterscotch chips for that sort of caramelly flavor.
Incidentally, cashew butter tastes like the equivalent of a culinary soulmate: I opened the jar and it was like, where have you been all my life? I don't believe it's that tasty and no one told me before.

adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookie Book

2 c packed brown sugar
1 c cashew butter
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla salt
1 c honey-roasted cashews
1 c dark chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60%)
1 c butterscotch chips

Heat oven to 375 F. Beat together the sugar, cashew butter, butter and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Stir into the cashew butter mixture. Dough will be slightly stiff. Carefully fold and mix in the cashews and chocolate and butterscotch chips.
For giant cookies: using an ice-cream scoop or 1/4 c measure, scoop out balls of dough and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake about 11 to 13 minutes or until light brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Makes about 21 giant cookies.
For still-hefty-but-more-manageable cookies: shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet; flatten slightly if desired. Bake about 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Cool 5 minutes, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.


Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Oh these look amazing, especially since they have butterscotch chips! I, too, gave up on the diet and exercise yesterday when I broke down and had two Tate's chocolate chip oatmeal cranberry cookies. Its cookie weather here in New York!

10:10 AM  
Blogger Brilynn said...

I get the "need to bake" thing pretty often. Why aren't cookies healthy? I try to tell myself they are... ooh, nuts are good, chocolate, suuure, sugar... uh yeah...

10:41 AM  

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