Sharpen your pencil—it’s time for New Parent Math!
New Parent + Baby = Stress
Stress + Sugar = Less Stress
I can’t think of a time when I needed sweets more than during my son’s infancy. I mean, c’mon, there’s actual science that shows eating sugar can reduce stress. But then consider this equation...
Sugar + New Parent = Forget About Losing the Baby Weight
So what’s a frazzled, dying-for-sweets new mom or dad to do? Make it yourself. You control the ingredients and the sugar level, and you leave out whatever preservatives and chemicals might be in that package of cookies I see you holding right now. The key is to find the most foolproof, toss-it-together sweets recipes possible. Easy indulgences.
After a particularly frustrating day, when nothing but baking (and, um, eating) could soothe me, I came up with this one-bowl (and no mixer) cookie recipe. It has only seven ingredients, and it satisfies both sweet and salty cravings thanks to a generous helping of chopped honey-roasted peanuts.
These cookies are also flourless, which is a bonus for the gluten-free among us. And it majors in peanut butter with a minor in dark chocolate, so I can almost convince myself these cookies are healthy. Not low-fat, certainly, but full of nutrition—at least as far as cookies go. Now that’s what I call a winning equation.
What do you make when you need a quick sugar fix?
Flourless Honey-Roasted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
One 16-ounce jar natural creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup good-quality dark chocolate chips
1 cup honey-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets and set aside.
Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla in a large bowl—I find it easiest to begin with a whisk, then switch to a wooden spoon. Add the chocolate chips and peanuts and stir to combine.
Use a large cookie scoop to portion out balls of the dough and place them, 1 1/2 inches apart, on the prepared cookie sheets. (You can also use moistened hands to form the balls, taking about a tablespoon at a time.) These cookies don’t spread much, so flatten the balls slightly with your fingers.
Bake until the cookies are puffed and golden brown, about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets in the oven halfway through. Cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Debbie Koenig is a food writer and the author of Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents (Morrow, 2012), which has an entire chapter of Easy Indulgences. Find her at her blog, Parents Need to Eat Too, or @debbieharry on Twitter.
(Images: Debbie Koenig)