Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

This weekend, we made our annual trip to Jackson.

Can I just say I love this trip.

For me, it entails a nine to ten hour drive in an air conditioned Suburban with some great girl friends.

Sure there are some mad dashes to the feed zones, several frenzied hand-offs of musette bags, lots of yelling (and whistling) out the window at men in tight shorts...Who's complaining?! But the drive was also spent enjoying excellent company.

When we arrived in Jackson, we met up with our husbands, who treated us to a nice dinner and then took us to a fancy hotel (props to Jenn, the hotels are a lot nicer now that she is booking them).

The cyclist, however, has a different idea of fun when it comes to road trips. You see, he spent those same nine and a half hours ON A BIKE.

206 miles.

Over a lot of hills.

Just for fun.

On a bike. Did I say that already?

The kind you pedal.
handsome, huh?

Oh well, I guess it doesn't matter how he gets there. Just as long as he meets me at the finish line. Jackson's no fun without him.

This year, he found these tasty little cookies in his feed bags.

Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups quick one minute oats

Combine sugar, milk, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, peanut butter until peanut butter melts. Add oats. Stir until mixture begins to stiffen a little (a minute or two). Drop by rounded clusters onto foil or waxed paper. Let set.

Orange Sherbet with Sugar Cookie Spoons

You know that refreshing, tart-sweet flavor of store bought orange sherbet?


Make it yourself and you get refreshing and tart-sweet times ten plus an incredibly fresh flavor.

I found the little cookie spoons in Martha Stewart Living. They are so cute. The kids will love them (as will the adults). Make a few per person. You will probably break one or two.

After all, you'll be eating this sherbet with gusto.

Sally's Orange Sherbet

6 cups FRESH SQUEEZED* orange juice, strained (I bought a box of oranges from Costco and used about 3/4 of the box...sorry, I should have counted the oranges)
1 1/2 cups FRESH SQUEEZED* lemon juice, strained
4 to 4 1/2 cups sugar (depending on the sweetness of your oranges)
3 cups whipping cream
6 cups whole milk

Mix all together and freeze in a six quart ice cream freezer. (I have a four quart maker, so I split it into two batches.)

*Some of you may be asking "Can I use store bought orange juice if it's 'not from concentrate'?"

Sorry. No.

All I have is a little hand held juicer, but I juiced and I juiced (and I juiced). It probably took me thirty minutes or so. But believe me, the sacrifice is well worth it.

Sugar Cookie Spoons
adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Makes about 30 cookies
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 T cream or milk (my addition...see below)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until dough comes together. (I made two batches. The first batch I made as written and my dough was quite dry and crumbly and rather difficult to work with. The second batch, I added a tablespoon of cream and it made a world of difference. The dough was soft and rolled out beautifully. You can play it by ear. The taste and texture of both batches was the same.) Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out 1 disk of dough to just less than an inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Using a paring knife, cut out spoon shapes, each about 3 inches long. (I looked around for a spoon shaped cookie cutter, but couldn't find one. Go to your baking supply store and see what they have. A tennis racket would work perfectly. I found a guitar shaped cutter and manipulated it into a spoon shape.)
Transfer to baking sheets. Roll out scraps, and repeat once. (I took a cookie baking class from an expert cookie baker once and she gave the same advice. Roll your dough out more than twice and your cookies will be tough.)
Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.