Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies with Bits of Toffee


Recenlty my aunt, who is also a good friend and mentor, was informed that she was in for a pretty tough fight, health-wise. This prompted those who know and care about her to organize a benefit to help with the cost of expensive medicines and treatments that she will need to prolong her life.
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Part of the benefit involved a bake sale. I really don’t have much experience with baking. Most of the dishes I make seem to be what one would typically eat while watching football. I took the bake sale as a challenge and decided to make cookies.

My favorite candy bar is a Heath Bar – made of chocolate covered toffee. My favorite cookie is peanut butter. For this recipe, I combine the two, and create a peanut butter cookie with chunks of toffee covered in milk chocolate. It took me a couple of tries to perfect, but in the end, I was able crank out a large quantity for the bake sale and every one of them sold. The benefit was a great success and it inspired me to create a yummy new cookie recipe.

BEHIND THIS BITE
Recently on this blog, I mentioned that I was back living in New York City. I had been there for almost a month with my girlfriend when my aunt got sick. I decided (with my girlfriend's blessing) that it was a good idea to be around my family to help out with the situation. I packed up my belongings and returned to Churubusco, Indiana.

My aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer and given 18 months to live.

It was a huge shock to our close-knit family.  Everyone is dealing with it well and my aunt has settled into her treatments and is doing great, given the circumstances. I've been spending Wednesday evenings with her. We hang out in the kitchen and I've used those nights to experiment with recipes.

This cookie recipe was created in her kitchen.

The first batch was a disaster, the second was good. The third try - well, this is the third try. These cookies are outrageously good and you get lots with this recipe. After all, it's designed for a bake sale. For a snack version at home, just use half of all the ingredients.

Life can throw a punch from time to time, so you always need to be prepared to remain upright once one lands. I'm grateful to be in a situation that allows me to spend time in New York and then, if I need to, back in Indiana with my family. I hope my aunt can defy the odds and make it through this disease, and I hope to make many more recipes with her.

Eat well, cook often ...

1 comment:

Amanda Barrett said...

Justin, you are ever the wonderful designer and an awesome nephew to boot. My prayers are with you and your family. But I am glad you're not making these cookies in NYC. I would have to come over and have some!