In less than two weeks I’ll be turning 25, finally ready to embrace the quarter-life crisis that has apparently plagued my psyche for the past five years.
It’s easy to look back from my postgraduate perch and laugh at the pre-legal drinking age me for fretting about things like internships, guys, GREs and whether or not the twenty-something me would have a disposable budget for pastry consumption.
The things that jolt the almost 25-year old me awake at 3 a.m. some nights include, but are not limited to: work deadlines, how and where to start planning a wedding, whether or not I’ll ever go for that MFA, and determining the perfect dessert to bake for whatever social function looms ahead.
We as individuals may evolve, but we never truly change.
That’s only half true.
When I was going on 20, I had some terrible habits that primarily consisted of combining cherry coke and vanilla soft serve in the dining hall, making up for two lost decades of never eating Trix cereal at home, and graciously partaking in dorm room taste tests of Dominos’ pasta bread bowl innovations. Even when I had access to a small collegiate kitchen I rarely used it except for the occasional bowl of spaghetti or post-night class Kraft macaroni.
Maybe all that sugar and starch contributed to my premature quarter-life crisis tendencies.
I’ve tried to work out some of these kinks in the few years since. Being in my kitchen, though cramped and poorly lit, feels almost as exhilarating as stepping into a tranquil early morning dining hall. Chicken thighs and all riffs on the turkey meatball cross my dinner table more than mac & cheese. I eat breakfast too early to properly digest cereal with any trace of food coloring (but a single-pack of Fruit Loops can still suffice for a 3 p.m. nosh in my book.) Overall there are fewer late night social french fry benders, more movement and more plank variations.
But in my mind and in my heart, pastries and baked goods in general will never drop in priority. Having cookies to come home to gets me through the workday more than it gets a three year-old through an hour at the grocery store.
So you can probably imagine my elation at having finally unlocked the peanut butter cookie conundrum (i.e., how they’re perfect straight out of the oven, then turn crumbly and dry the next day.) These one bowl (!) flourless gems might just be what quarter-life crises are made of.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes almost 4 dozen so be prepared to gift some away; Adapted from The Kitchn
1/2 c unsalted butter, very soft
1 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 c chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a cookie sheet (or two).
Mix the butter, peanut butter and sugars in a large bowl, then add in the eggs and vanilla. Oats, baking soda and salt go in next. Fold in the chips last.
Using an ice cream scoop or vessel of your choice, drop a dozen dollops of batter on each cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or so until golden on the edges; let cool for a minute or two before removing from the sheet and transferring to a plate or container.
These will stay soft and perfect for anywhere from a week to a week and a half, if you let them stick around that long.