Maggie also wanted to make M&M cookies last weekend. I only had mint M&Ms which I didn't really want to waste in cookies, so I asked her if she'd like to make choc chip cookies with the special caramel/choc swirl chips. She happily agreed. Then we decided to put in peanut butter, too. Again, it was her choice between that and oatmeal.
Grandma Frost's Recipe again, which includes the possibility of an optional 1 cup of peanut butter. We also put in chopped walnuts. Maggie chopped them in my awesome nut chopper--it's the one my Mom had when I was a kid. Not having anything with which to chop nuts as an adult, I dreamed of finding a chopper like her's at a garage sale. Never did. Then it occurred to me that she probably never used it anymore, between having a food processor and arthritis in her hands. So a couple years ago, I asked. And voila! I now have the nut chopper. It holds great memories because I usually chopped the nuts for Mom (and for myself I guess), and now Maggie is doing it "Just like Mom did when she was a little girl like me!" I was surprised that it took her the entire mixing time to chop the nuts. Then later, when we were telling Eric about making them, she added in that she had eaten a lot of nuts and I asked if that's why it had taken so long. She laughed and said yes.
Rather than making 5 sheets of cookies and having to be in the kitchen with the oven on for more than an hour, we made bars. I put a Silpat in my jelly roll pan (slightly larger cookie sheet); it doesn't quite cover then entire pan, but the dough doesn't go under and everything turns out just fine. I intentionally cut them small--portion sizes are out of control around here and I was shooting for the original sized cookie. The recipe makes 5 dozen if you make them the right size. I think I got 6 dozen! I've found that I will want to eat 2-4 cookies no matter what size they are. So making them smaller...I eat less but am nearly as satisfied.
They are lovely. Two problems--the caramel swirl chips don't add much flavor. I though the PB overwhelmed them, but Eric said they didn't taste very caramely on their own, either. Second, although they looked great in the pan, in the bag their dryness became evident as at least a cookie's worth of crumbs was left from about 1/3 of the cookies. The tasted fine, but very crumby. I can't wait to try these with regular choc chips since I love pb and chocolate.