Family. It's one word that has so many meanings.
Growing up in a family of six kids, my brother and I were at the tail end. He was the dream little brother - one who would play just about any sport with me (Tennis in the street? Rollerblade hockey in the driveway, anyone?). And he has always been one of the nicest persons I know.
We were the two youngest. The last two to drive. The last two to move out of the house. So we stuck together.
Now, with us both living in St. Louis, we catch up most Thursday evenings in the Central West End for dinner. Week after week we go to the same restaurant; both order the same thing; talk about the same topics; and share new music. Maybe some nights he will have a few too many beers, or some nights we will walk around the neighborhood and grab something sweet. But, no matter what, each Thursday, it's just him and me. Brother and sister. Sticking together.
Last night, when my brother gave me a book that he bought that reminded him of me. That's when it hit me. This is family. Family is anyone (related or not) who deep down, knows the other person so well without even realizing it. Through thick and thin; through petty fights or life's upsets. Family will be there. Sticking together. And you don't need a birthday or a celebration to show them that you are thinking of them.
And before meeting my brother for dinner, I packaged him up a few of these flourless cookies.
I made these cookies for this weekend, which would be filled with friends, family, cookouts and fireworks. But hey, they are also good to have around to give to the ones you love, just because.
These are so easy, they can be made in one bowl with a wooden spoon.
I load them up with chunks of good-quality milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate. But good ol' chocolate chips work just as well!
Fourless Chocolate Peanut butter Cookies
(adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod)
- 1 cup peanut butter (1/2 cup chunky and 1/2 cup creamy)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup chopped milk chocolate
- 1/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
- Raw Sugar, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl with a wooden spoon or in a mixer, beat the peanut butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix. Add in the baking soda, salt, cocoa powder.
- Stir mixture until just combined (don't overmix!). Add in the chopped chocolate.
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough balls and place on cookie sheets. Roll each ball in your hands into a smooth ball. Arrange on the cookie sheets. Press down slightly on the top of each cookie to flatten them. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through for even baking. Take out when the tops are starting to crack and before the cookies become too brown on the edges.
- Let cool on the cookie sheets before removing to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container or freeze.
Bake some for your friends and family this weekend!