I want to have great stories and memories. Of course, I already do. My plan is to keep creating and noticing these moments so I can share them at parties, remind Michael of them, and chuckle giddily to myself when I think about them.
Michael’s great-grandma Maude often regales us with the storyline of her life. While we flipped through some old slides recently, she paused on one and squinted to recognize the people in the photo.
“Oh, that’s so-and-so and so-and-so,” she said (except she actually remembered their names). “We used to play cards with them every week, until he came home from work in the middle of the day once. His wife was stepping out with the milkman, and he caught the milkman at their house, and he shot the milkman. Well, after he killed the milkman, he went to prison.”
I don’t need that much drama in my life (please, friends, don’t shoot the milkman), but I do love the way Maude casually lays out an incredibly riveting story, like that kind of thing happened all the time. The way I see it, I just need to keep making cookies and inviting people over for dinner and dessert and tea and treats. The memories will follow.
You know my husband has a sandwich blog, right? He requested sandwich cookies, so here we are with Strawberry Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches. I baked some cocoa-laden shortbread cookies, whipped up some sweetened peanut butter, and arranged some perfectly ripe strawberries on top. This is a take on PB&J, but since the strawberries are at their peak right now, the fruit stands in for the jelly. I want to stuff these in my mouth as soon as I assemble them. Yum.
Strawberry Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches
Yield: approximately 34 cookies (17 sandwiches)
3/4 c cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt. Add the flour and cocoa powder and beat on low speed just until fully incorporated. Roll the dough into a log shape, about 1-1/4″ in diameter, and wrap in plastic. Freeze for about 1 hour.
Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats. Preheat the oven to 375°. Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap it, and cut it crosswise into 1/4″ thick rounds. Place on the prepared baking sheets, 1″ apart. Bake until the tops are set, about eight minutes.
Set the baking sheets on wire racks to cool for ten minutes, then remove the cookies and set them directly on the racks to cool completely.
For serving: If you don’t like your treats very sweet, you could just use peanut butter. I added a bit of powdered sugar and butter to mine and beat it on medium speed. For the berries, only use the very best, sweetest, in-season strawberries. If you can’t find any, I’d substitute strawberry jam. Spread a layer of the peanut butter on one cookie, top with berries (halved or quartered if they’re large), and add another cookie to create a sandwich. Eat promptly.