Friday, September 21, 2007

Bake Happy

Sometimes life gets you down. Whether it's bills, relationships, or just feeling blue for no reason at all (i.e. hormones), there are times that the lower lip puffs out and quivers and tears well up in your eyes. At those times you might put on your favorite weepy movie and go through a box of tissues, call your best friend and wail over the phone, or you can decide that it's not that bad, put on happy music, and bake cookies.

These are just about the happiest cookies I know. They're so bright and cheerful, no one could stay depressed while looking at one. And with peanut butter and chocolate dancing together on your tongue, it's like a party in your mouth!

So when you're tempted to go for a walk down Self-Pity Lane, instead tie on your brightest apron, bake a batch of happiness, and invite friends over for cookies. Afterwards, chances are that even if you remember why you were feeling down, it'll seem insignificant and not worth wasting tissues on in the first place.

Peanut Butter M & M Cookies

5 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1 lb. butter
1-1/2 cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter

4 cups M & M's

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda into a bowl. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugars, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter and beat till creamy.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Beat 3-4 minutes.

By hand gently stir in 3 cups plain M & M's. Mix well. Spoon by 1/8 cup onto ungreased baking sheet. From the remaining one cup of M & M's, press a few into the top of each cookie. Bake at 350 deg. F for 11 minutes. The cookies should be just set, very lightly browned on the edges. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes. The cookies will continue to cook from the heat of the baking sheet. Remove them to a cooling rack to complete cooling.


Mandy said... know, I find myself generally happier after baking a batch of cookies. That's true! :)And I love your cheerful pics taken by your talented daughter.

Peabody said...

Those would make my husband very happy.

Nora B. said...

Those are cheerful cookies! And I like the drawing.

Sometimes when I cook when I am in a bad mood, things don't go so well. Breads are better for bad gloomy days. I have to pick my battles :-)

Blue Zebra said...

Lynn I don't have to call a friend to weep or watch a sad movie when I'm down, all I have to do is visit your site and your posts and Sarah's pictures are sure to brighten my day and my mood!

What a happy thread and beautiful cookies!!! :D :D :D

gigi said...

Love it!!! I do the happy music and cookies while wearing my pj's.

WokandSpoon said...

I need some happy cookies!! Send some my way please! Hehe - I love that last photo!

Happy Homebaker said...

dear Lynn, your "happy cookies" reminds me of the very first batch of cookies I baked with my kids...we used a pack of Betty Crocker's rainbow chocolate candy premix. It was a year ago, and I could still remember those happy moments in our kitchen. Happy Baking :)

Melinda said...

I feel a bit brighter after reading your blog too! Love the dragon either trying to eat the cookie or losing the battle against the cookie. Interpreting art can be poetic.
I love stroking my dogs ears to cheer me up. So soft and gentle. I am sure grumpy people would feel much better after a few minutes of soft puppy ears.

emily said...

Wowee Lynn!!!Those cookies make me thunk of a thousand 'Beatles' songs at once! They look great!!!

Anh said...

How wonderful! These are better called the 'Happy Cookies' from now on!

emily said...

i meant think, not thunk

VeggieGirl said...

these cookies are so vibrant and colorful, that I have no DOUBT that they would brighten up anyone's day :0)

Jerry said...

Oh Lynn, This so were my thoughts baking the carrot cake. All I wanted to do is cry, but I went to the grocery store, got the supplies, and made the cake. The finish product made me smile, but then my boyfriend stole half of it. Whoops. Hope your well. Jerry

Belinda said...

Lynn, these do look like happy cookies...I love that! And reading your post perked me up this afternoon as well...I have been moping about bad hair days, and silly stuff, and you are sense in wasting precious hours being sad about insignificant things. :-)

Dee Light said...

Cookies are truly a handfull of happy!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Whoopie! Peanut butter and chocolate - that'll make me happy! Peanut butter and chocolate are just made for each other.

Amy said...

It's so true! Nothing like cookies fresh from the oven to cheer you up.

Lucie said...

Hello! I am from France but I hav been quite a number of times to your wondrous country! This recipe brings me back there... the tide is low these days, I bought peanut butter (which is not that frequent over here) and I'm making these cookies this afternoon! thank you and "bravo"!

Anne said...

If I can only make beautiful cookies as you do, then I would be more than happy :) Love the cookies, they are so colorful!

Kelly-Jane said...

Such pretty happy cookies! I'm trying to get a Smartie cookie to my liking currently, I've got the taste, but yours are how I wanted mine to look, and they don't, but I'll keep going!

Brilynn said...

Those are definitely happy cookies, I need to make some tonight!

Rose&Thorn said...

Lynn, what happened to the 4th cup of M&M's from the ingredient list? or need I not ask?

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Mandy -no need for Paxil when there's cookie baking. :-)

Peabody - and a happy husband makes a happy wife!

Nora - I agree. Kneading is very therapeutic. Angel food cakes should not be attempted on an angry day.

BZ - You are such a sweetie and brighten my day, too.

Gigi- In pj's is even better!

Wok and Spoon - I'd love to send you some cookies. Do you have an address yet?

Happy Homebaker - Baking with your kids makes such happy memories for them.

Melinda - You should market faux puppy ears for stress relief. When you make your first million, you can afford to come visit and bake with me!

Emily - Beatles is happy music for me, too.

Anh - Good call!

VeggieGirl - Just like you brighten my day with your nice comments!

Jerry - I guess great bakers think alike. :-)

Belinda- You have bad hair days? I never would have guessed. On the internet it's always a good hair day. :-)

Dee Light - You're welcome!

My Kitchen In Half Cups - I agree 100%.

Amy - yes, ma'am!

Lucie - Thanks for stopping by. I hope the cookies did the trick for you.

Anne - Surely you're joking, dear. Everything you bake is gorgeous!

Kelly-Jane - Oooh, a Smartie cookie? I'll be watching to see how you do that. Sounds fun!

Brilynn - Your kitchen must be a very happy place indeed. So much good baking going on all the time!

Rose & Thorn - Very perceptive! You win the sharp eyes prize. I left the post for my husband to put up before I left on a trip and realized after I'd left that I never dealt with that extra cup of M & M's. You push them into the top of the cookies before baking. I've changed the recipe to reflect that. Thanks for noticing!

eatme_delicious said...

Oh these look so very delicious! At first I thought they were just M&M cookies but then saw they were pb M&M! I will have to add these to my list. Seems like they make a billion cookies though. Really great photos, especially the last one. :)