The Best Peanut Butter Cookies… Ever.

Every month or so, my high school girlfriends get together for a girls’ night. We drink wine and raspberry beer, catch up, tease each other and reminisce about our awesome fashion and stripy highlights we had back in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

The month of October was a fondue party, and I wanted to bring something super yummy for dessert to dip in the chocolate. Everyone likes the dessert fondue the best, anyway. When I was trying to figure out my plan, Steve generously offered to make THE peanut butter cookies for me to take to the party. Of course I took him up on the offer. His stuff always tastes the best.Sinclair & Moore home b2 1 Sinclair & Moore home b2 2 Sinclair & Moore home b2 3Right before I ran out the door, I piled up the freshly baked cookies pretty high and wrapped up the platter in plastic wrap. I figured I was bringing way more than enough, and my secret plan was to munch on all the leftovers on my way home that night.

I walked into the party with the intentions of my friends dipping them into the chocolate fondue pot. But it turned out that the plastic wrap was peeled off right away and almost half of them were devoured during the appetizer cheese fondue course. I even eyed the party host secretly stashing a few cookies away, hiding them in a napkin to share with her husband once we all left her house. It was a sneaky tactic I would totally do, too. No one can resist these things!Sinclair & Moore home b2 4 Sinclair & Moore home b2 5Sinclair & Moore home b2 6 Sinclair & Moore home b2 7The key to them being so good is that whenever Steve plans to bake something, he’ll Google “Best _______________”, then secretly modify the recipe to pretty much become the “Best _______________ Ever.” The time he searched for “best peanut butter cookies” and made his personal improvements, he was truly on to something.

From what I’ve observed, the reason his cookies are so good has something to do with how long he creams the butter with the sugar. It’s also the short amount of time he bakes them in the oven. Steve’s not a fan of crunchy cookies, and would prefer them to be underbaked before he’d ever serve a cookie that’s a little too crispy.Sinclair & Moore home b2 8 Sinclair & Moore home b2 9 Sinclair & Moore home b2 10 Sinclair & Moore home b2 11So much for my secret plan of gobbling up all the extra cookies on my drive home. There wasn’t even a crumb left over after the fondue party. And while I was out for the evening, someone else had a secret plan going on back home. When I tip-toed through our apartment that night, it was super late and Steve was fast asleep. On his bedside table was the evidence. A big empty bowl with a little bit of melted ice cream and peanut butter cookie crumbs sitting at the bottom. I think we both had a perfect night.

So do your husband/boyfriend/mother-in-law/high school friends a favor and go out and buy the ingredients. But when you make these, do not even attempt to taste the dough. Not even a little bit. You won’t end up with any finished cookies if you do that.Sinclair & Moore home b2 13

Photo credit: Matthew Land Studios


The Best Peanut Butter Cookies… Ever:

1 cup + 4 TBS peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 TBS milk

1 TBS vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 bag of peanut butter chips

3/4 cup sugar (for rolling dough balls, may need more or less)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the peanut butter and butter. Once combined, beat in both the white and brown sugars and cream for about seven minutes. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently add to the creamed mixture and mix until almost combined. Do not over mix the flour with the creamed mixture or your cookies will end up very dry. Fold in peanut butter chips by hand. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes in the fridge.

Roll small mounds of dough into balls. Gently roll the dough balls in the sugar before placing on the baking sheet. Carefully press each ball with fork tines to create a criss-cross pattern. 
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are slightly browned. The middle of the cookies will appear to be not fully baked – the cookies will continue to bake as they cool on the baking sheet when removed  from the oven. After 5-10 minutes, carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

How to Marry a Wedding Planner: our 663 sq. feet

One of the many joys in marriage that I’ve found is embracing my husband’s talents and the ways that he is different than me. My series ‘How to Marry a Wedding Planner’ provides snapshots of the amusement and delight I find in my marriage with a wedding planner.B1 Sinclair & Moore HomeSteve’s twenties were spent very differently than mine. I love hearing the stories of elegant dinner parties he threw in college; and when he shows me the various décor pieces he bought in his late teens and early twenties, I can’t help but chuckle a little bit. Seriously, what college guy spends his money on fancy linens for dinner parties and high-end home décor?

I guess it worked out well for me though, the girl who spent her money at Forever 21, on hair dye and nights out with friends.

When we met, I was 25 years old and living in a quirky sixth floor walk up apartment in NYC, spending over half my monthly salary on rent. I was starting to feel like a grown up, making purchases on home furnishings (from IKEA, obviously). I vividly remember feeling like I had officially entered adulthood when I brought home a teeny tiny yellow potted orchid from a street fair on the Upper East Side. Grown-ups have orchids, I thought. Look at me, spending money on things to make my home pretty. That orchid was like a rite of passage. I was a grown up. Or so I thought. Then I married a wedding designer who opened up my world to a beautiful lifestyle.B2 Sinclair & Moore Home B3 Sinclair & Moore HomeB4 Sinclair & Moore HomeA year and a half into our marriage, we decided to make the move to Seattle from Bellingham, Wash. We had a short window of opportunity before the peak of wedding season hit, so we decided to go for it this past April. In moving, we traded in a 950 sq. foot 2-bedroom condo + commercial studio space in Bellingham for a 663 sq. foot 1-bedroom apartment in Seattle. Just a little downsize, but I’ve always liked small spaces.B5 Sinclair & Moore Home B6 Sinclair & Moore HomeB8 Sinclair & Moore HomeB9 Sinclair & Moore HomeAfter we signed the lease, we visited the vacant apartment a few times together to brainstorm how we’d like to use the space. We wanted the 663 sq. feet to be a place we could work, entertain, host client meetings, relax and rest, have friends over and feel like a home. We sat on the wood floor of the empty apartment for awhile, realizing how small of a space it actually was and thought long and hard about if it’d be weird not having a big couch in the living room, but a table instead. We opted for the table.B12 Sinclair & Moore Home B13 Sinclair & Moore Home B14 Sinclair & Moore HomeGiven his career, aesthetic and love for design, it’s a given that Steve takes the lead on decorating our home. He has such a natural innate talent for decorating and can select pieces from flea markets, Restoration Hardware, Goodwill, Target and Anthropologie and put them together in a way that’s both cohesive and eclectic. On any given day, our home could be scattered with grey pumpkins from the flower market, be filled with freshly spray-painted trees, or be rearranged in some new furniture configuration. That’s what’s neat about being married to a designer, our home is a palette for creativity and design, and I love that.B15 Sinclair & Moore HomeB22 Sinclair & Moore HomeB16 Sinclair & Moore HomeBut what I love most about our place is that it feels cozy and like a private hideaway just for the two of us. Whenever one of us bakes anything, the yummy smells seem to stick around forever since the place is so small. And it really is small. Let’s just say that Steve and I live and work together in very close quarters. Sometimes when we’re rushing to get ready in the morning and both of us are in the bathroom, one slight misstep could easily result in a shaved off eyebrow or a severe burn by my curling wand. But, I love our 663 sq. feet and think it’s the perfect place for us.B18 Sinclair & Moore Home B19 Sinclair & Moore Home B20 Sinclair & Moore HomeB21 Sinclair & Moore HomeAnd check back soon for the recipe for these peanut butter cookies Steve made.  They seriously are the best you’ll ever have.

photo credit: Matthew Land Studios