Guys! I have been married 10 years! Turning 30 did not phase me. 40 is coming soon and I feel pretty unbothered. But for some reason, realizing that I have been married for 10 years really makes me feel way too grown up! The funny part about it is, I did not even realize. John and I are not particularly prone to celebrating our anniversary. As a matter of fact, I think I can remember at least one occasion where he brought me flowers, and after thanking him I asked what on earth had inspired such a gesture! Yeah I had no idea what day it was.
A few nights ago, he asked if I wanted to go to dinner on Friday at Nada, my favorite restaurant in Cincinnati. I squealed yes, and then asked what on earth had brought that on (it is an hour drive from here and a bit more on the pricey side than our regular haunts). He stared at me for a moment, until I put it together, and I more or less said wow we never splurge like that for our anniversary. He pointed out it was our 10th, and I, well, I think my eyes bugged out of my head.
Just wait til Alex turns 10. Then I will really be a mess. I blame the fact that I have spent my entire adult life living in college towns. It is too easy to feel like I only just left that life behind.
Speaking of things that feel like only yesterday (kind of an awkward segue but let’s just go with it), back when we lived in State College, PA, I tried my first ever flourless peanut butter cookie. A fellow mom in my play group there had made them, told me she kept the recipe around for her celiac friends. I was immediately wowed, but for whatever reason never got around to making them.
Fast forward to now, when I spend my days perusing blogs with fantastic baked goods of every persuasion, and I came upon the same recipe, only bulked up with rolled oats and chocolate chips. I was immediately intrigued. You guys know how much I love oats and chocolate chips in my cookies.
Monique at Ambitious Kitchen is a genius because these peanut butter cookies are beyond delicious. I tweaked it a little, with add-ins, more vanilla, the vanilla salt I love so much. My take is below, but be sure to check out her recipe as well. The recipe is not huge–I whipped it up and baked it quickly. Of course that also meant we ate them quickly. They are best the day they are baked–they stay soft, but cakey rather than chewy (not surprising with no white sugar and no butter).
- 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (not natural; I used Jif)
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 t vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- ½ t vanilla salt, plus more for sprinkling (use regular salt if necessary)
- 1 t baking soda
- ⅔ cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
- ⅔ cup chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup Reese’s Pieces candy
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Beat together the peanut butter and brown sugar. When it is creamy and incorporated, beat in the vanilla, eggs and baking soda. Then mix in the ½ teaspoon of vanilla salt.
- Mix in the oats. Then fold in the chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces. The dough will be quite wet–you will probably prefer to work with a cookie scoop. Don’t worry, the cookies will stay thick (I was concerned they would spread).
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop 1-2 tablespoon sized balls onto a parchment or silicone-lined cookie sheet. I did 6 cookies to a sheet. Slightly pat the balls to flatten them just a little. Sprinkle with vanilla salt.
- Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown.
- Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet to allow the cookies to finish baking. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.