Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Happy Halloween, everyone!

In honour of this ghoulish occasion, I’ve made something fittingly frightening: 

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Oatmeal peanut butter cookies.

SPOOKY!

Ok, so they’re not really. But a quick gander at the ingredients list for these bad boys - butter, peanut butter, sugar, and, yes, more sugar - will make your heart stop and your stomach grumble, and likely not in that order. That, my friends, is scary stuff indeed.

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Which makes me think it’s time that I should clarify something: contrary to what recent posts - the soup, the scones, the pie - suggest, I don’t actually advocate a diet of all butter and cream, all the time. In reality, my pantry is built mostly around whole grains and my fridge is filled with fruits, veggies and, since we’re being honest here, a small collection of cheeses. Sure, butter and cream are in there too. But moderation and I? We’re pretty good pals. 

So the decadent stuff that I share with you? More often than not, I share it with others too. Banana bread is toted to the office, biscuits and pancakes are served up at rare family breakfasts, and a little bit of everything makes its way to my sister and brother-in-law’s place, in thanks for them letting me borrow yet another who-knows-what. (This article? This is me.)

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And these crispy, chewy rounds of peanutty goodness are no different. Because today, they’ve been promised to a bake sale.*** Which means that I, in good conscience, was only able to try one. The teeniest one. Still warm from the oven. If I hadn’t had my Willpower-Intersecting-with-Obligation costume on (it looks cooler than it sounds), who even knows what would have happened.

So make them, but make sure you’re set up to share, or the scariest thing about your Halloween will be the disappearance of pounds of butter and sugar, seemingly into thin air.

See? SPOOKY
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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
Inspired by allrecipes.com
Makes approximately 16 3-inch cookies or 24 2-inch cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups quick oats (the kind that take 3-5 minutes to cook on the stove)

Directions 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon and elbow grease, cream together butter, peanut butter, and brown and white sugar until smooth and fluffly (2-3 minutes with the mixer, more with the spoon). Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until butter mixture is fluffy and smooth again (another minute or two with the mixer, more with the spoon). In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

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2. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until the two mixtures are almost completely combined. Add oats and stir just until oats are evenly distributed through the dough. Cover the bowl and allow dough to chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, just to let it firm up a bit.

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3. With clean hands, roll dough into balls* and place 2 inches apart on a lined cookie sheet (I used parchment paper, but a Silpat will work too!), flattening just a tiny bit.** Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are golden and tops are lightly browned. Let cool on the sheet for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store extras, if there are any, in an airtight container. 

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*For medium cookies, roll dough into 1-inch balls; for large cookies, roll dough into 1.5-inch balls. 
**Be warned, the dough is sticky, so this will be a bit messy. If you’re mess-averse, you can form cookies by dropping rounded teaspoonfuls of dough onto your lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between drops. The resulting cookies likely won’t be as round as if you had rolled the dough, but your hands will stay (relatively) clean.
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***As part of their effort to combat campus hunger, the awesome volunteers at the University of Alberta Campus Food Bank are getting in the Halloween spirit today by doling out sweet treats at a bake sale and by trick-or-treating, in costume, for non-perishable food items. If you want in on the action, you can support the CFB by: 

- Dropping by Alumni Walk from 10AM to 4PM today to pick up a tasty bake-sale treat;
- Donating non-perishable items to volunteers that will be Trick-or-TrEATing in the University area this evening;
- Or by visting the Campus Food Bank website to find out how else to get involved.

Want to check out other food banks? Visit the Food Banks Canada website or get googling! 

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