A dessert kids can make for Mom



May 05, 2002|By Betty Rosbottom | Betty Rosbottom,Special to the Sun

Peanut-butter cookies, berries with cream are simple but good

For Mother's Day what better gift could a mom ask for than having her children help cook a meal in her honor? This holiday provides a perfect opportunity for youngsters to hone budding culinary skills and to learn about the thoughtful art of entertaining.

I searched my files for a simple dessert that kids could prepare with a little supervision from Mom or Dad to serve on May 12. I decided that peanut-butter cookies offered with a strawberries and some honey cream would make an easy and delectable choice.

The cookies are intensely peanut-flavored and have a delectably crunchy texture. Fresh sliced strawberries dusted with sugar and garnished with a sauce of sour cream sweetened with honey are a fine accompaniment to these peanut-butter confections.

Distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, a division of Tribune Media Services.

Chunky Peanut-Butter Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 / 4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Arrange rack at center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready 2 large ungreased cookie sheets.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt into mixing bowl and set aside.

With electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and peanut butter until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add both sugars, beating until dissolved. Beat in egg and vanilla just to incorporate. On slow speed, add dry ingredients, beating until flour is blended into dough, about 1 minute. Stir in chopped peanuts.

Form dough into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. With tines of fork, press down on each, making crisscross pattern and flattening cookies so they are about 1 3 / 4 inches round.

Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned around the edges, 9 to 11 minutes, no more. Halfway during baking, reverse baking sheet so that cookies brown evenly. When done, remove from oven and, using spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack to cool to room temperature. (Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Fresh Strawberries with Honey Cream

Makes 4 servings

1 quart fresh strawberries, stemmed, rinsed and dried

1 tablespoon sugar, plus more if needed

1 cup regular or reduced-fat (not nonfat) sour cream

1 / 4 cup honey

4 fresh mint sprigs, optional

Slice strawberries lengthwise and place in attractive serving bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and toss to coat. Taste, and if needed sprinkle berries with a little more sugar. Let rest in bowl 5 minutes. In small bowl, whisk together sour cream and honey.

To serve, divide berries evenly among 4 wine glasses or serving bowls. Garnish each with dollop of honey cream and with 1 mint sprig.

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