Hilary is one my oldest and most consistent friends. We are coming up on 10 years, actually . . . which is a drop in the bucket compared to some of her other relationships, and I think that’s telling. She is gold. And hilarious (haha). And very authentic. And one of the best goodnesses in my life.
I’m grateful for her friendship and encouragement through all these wild and sometimes difficult years I’ve lived through since we’ve known each other. We are alike in ways that are rare for me to come across in other relationships, and – to end my fervid deluge (ha) – I will simply say that I am happy to be just a highway ride away from her these days instead of a few thousand miles. Would that I could have all my buddies within drivable distance from me!!
I recently traipsed up to her neck of the woods for the first time since I’ve been back in North Carolina. We’ve had lunch a couple of times in Raleigh and out my way, but it was so nice to spend time in her bright, warm home to talk and bake and bounce ideas off of each other.
The catalyst for my visit was a baking date. Hil suggested I come over and bake nut butter cookies with her, which I was exceedingly delighted to do. Especially since I still had not tried the Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter in cookie form (or at all).
We ended up baking two batches – one from the Mixed Nut Butter and one from Justin’s Maple Almond butter with walnuts thrown in . . . lots of nuts happening that day.
Both jars were 12 oz, and because I have had a couple of crumbly outcomes the last few times I’ve baked, I wasn’t sure whether or not we should add one egg or two. When I first started making nut butter cookies, the jars were coming in 8 or 16 oz. Now, they’re more typically sold in 10 or 12.
The TJ’s butter was more oily than I’m used to, and I determined that we probably only needed one egg. After that, we tried Hil’s method of tossing an egg and a half by scrambling one and eyeballing half of it into the mix. That turned out to be the chewier batch, which I preferred. It was also the batch in which we used vanilla extract instead of almond.
So we ended up with one super rich, kind of crumbly batch of mixed nut butter cookies, and one chewy, more classic // chocolatey tasting batch of Maple Almond butter cookies.
In the process, I think I was able to refine my go-to recipe. Both batches were really good, but like Hilary mentioned, the crumbly, almond-extract mixed nut butter cookies were better suited for pairing with ice-cream. Since I typically end up eating most of the cookies I bake, I’m a fan of solo-snacking or coupling the cookies with an apple or banana, which is why I prefer fewer crumbles.
Following our mid-morning baking session, we spent a little time at Hil’s neighborhood park before she threw us together some salads. Which, of course, is the perfect lunch to follow dense nut butter cookies.
Shoutout to the homie Hil for almost a whole entire decade of friendship, and for blessing me with her glorious domesticity.
Just keep scrolling for the recipes we churned out with Little Miss Caroline’s help . . .
TJ’s Mixed Nut Butter Cookies
preheat oven to 350
12 oz Mixed Nut Butter + 1 egg + 1 tsp Almond Extract + 1/2 c brown sugar + chocolate chunks
baté baté chocolate
bake for 12-14 minutes
Folkbird’s Favorite GF Chocolate Chip Cookies
preheat oven to 350
12 oz Justin’s Maple Almond Butter + 1 (or more) tsp Vanilla Extract + 1/2 c brown sugar
1.5 eggs (which, I am fairly confident 2 eggs would yield the same results)
chocolate chips + walnuts (or pecans. bless).
combine all ingredients in a single clear glass mixing bowl b/c aesthetic + easy clean-up
bake for 13 minutes
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. . . & & | happy baking.
don’t be fooled by my skillful product placement – this is an unsponsored post. 🙂