It's January 7 and it's 70 degrees in the Washington, D.C. area. I cleaned the house, did some laundry...and gardened. That's right, I was gardening in January. I went outside wearing yoga pants, a tank top, and flip flops...in January. Can you tell that I'm in shock?
I've been living in the D.C. Metro Area for the past four years and it has been quite an experience, especially coming from the suburbs of Detroit. Growing up, I lived in a house that was surrounded by land, a farm, cows, and horses. Now, I live in a D.C. rowhouse that is 18 feet wide which is surrounded by neighbors, concrete, and an alley. In other words, it's our little slice of pride and comfort. I have always craved the city life and now I finally have it.
The nice thing is that a majority of our family and friends still live in Michigan so we try to escape the city life every once in a while to breathe in the fresh air and surround ourself with the beauty of nature. Plus, we have two 70 pound dogs who, even though they have a nice, little backyard in the city that they enjoy, they love to tire themselves out by running and playing on our parents' land. Oh, and chase chickens, of course. Yes, this past holiday season during our visit to my parent's house, we discovered that Caster is a Chicken Chaser. I'll save that story for another day...crazy Caster.
Since I'm still a suburban girl at heart, I always try to create a green space out of this concrete jungle. Every spring, my husband and I do our best to green the outside of our home with flowers, grass, plants, and herbs. And, just like every homeowner in the burbs, during the winter we have to prepare our garden for the future spring season. It's always so sad clearing out the weeds that were once beautiful flowers. However, it's also exciting thinking of just how bountiful I hope to make my gardens this coming year.
With the new year comes the shedding of the old and the bringing of the new. An organized house, clean clothes, and cleared out garden help to give one's self a sense of refreshment. And to celebrate that feeling? These Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cup Cookies with a glass of cold milk aren't a bad way to pat yourself on the back and get excited about the year to come.
Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 12 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, broken into chunks
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place sugar, dark brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
- Add baking soda, salt and flour to the sugar mixture and whisk together until smooth.
- Fold in chocolate chips and Reese's chunks (reserve 1/4 cup of chunks).
- Drop rounded tablespoonfuls (or use an ice cream scooper) onto baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart.
- Take the reserved 1/4 cup of Reese's chunks and stick the chunks into the tops of the cookie dough balls.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
What is your favorite treat to add into cookie dough?