I like buying presents. I like shopping and wrapping, searching and spending, being laden with handled bags and packages. I don’t even mind the malls at Christmas. With their harried crowds and moth ball suited Santas. How great is the Hickory Farms pop up kiosk? All that unrefrigerated sausage and cheese. I’m so serious. I love it. But I also like to shop on Main Street. In our little town, the Farnsworth art museum is giving out cards with purchases and The Grasshopper Shop has great and silly stocking stuffers. I think all the glittery fuss is absolutely necessary at this time of year, an ancient way to stave off seasonal depression. The lights and ornaments, shiny paper, ribbons and bows, and the rest of the gilding may seem superficial but I believe it brightens our spirits to be surrounded by beauty in dark times. Bringing the colors of December nature inside with evergreen wreaths, mistletoe, hollyberries, pine cones, snow flakes and stars. While I very much enjoy adding presents to my virtual cart on Amazon, I also find pleasure in spending an evening handwriting cards or an afternoon baking cookies to mail to family far away. This is the only occasion all year that we dig deep into shallow pockets to buy a little trinket for everyone who adds something to our lives. Even if what you purchase is sugar, flour, butter, and eggs. The act of making and giving creates hope and spreads love. It’s magic. It matters. All we have is each other; we must wrap our arms around our people and not let go. Take good care of your loved and little ones. Bake them cookies.
Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Adapted from Oh Taste and See
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar, for rolling
- 2 tablespoons Nutella, for filling
- 2 tablespoons jam, for filling
Preheat oven to 375. In a stand mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Whisk together salt, flour and baking soda, then add the dry ingredients into the bowl and beat until a cookie dough forms. Use a tablespoon to portion out golf balls of dough. Roll in sugar and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and while still warm, use your thumb to create an indentation in each cookie which you then fill with either Nutella or jam. Hint: Blueberry jam was a surprisingly wonderful choice!