Chocolate Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

5 dozen foil-wrapped chocolate kisses

1) Preheat oven to 375.
2) Beat butter and peanut butter until well blended. Add sugars. Beat until fluffy.
3) Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in dry ingredients.
4) Shape into 5 dozen balls. Roll in sugar.
5) Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Press chocolate kiss in top of each cookie. Bake 2 minutes longer.


Chocolate Mint Filled Cookies

1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar

1) Melt chocolate chips.
2) Beat melted chocolate and all ingredients. Increase speed to medium and beat until well mixed. Wrap dough and refrigerate (at least 1 hour).
3) Shape dough into 96 balls. Roll in sugar.
4) Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 (I bake them about 10 min). Immediately remove from pan and place mint between 2 cookies. Let sit for a minute. Press together slightly.

ALAN Conference

My favorite conference of the year! It’s always great to be surrounded by librarians, teachers, and authors who love books. And to hear about and receive piles of books that make my TBR pile dangerously tall.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the conference (and, yes, I heard each of these authors speak and have each of their newest books):

Jack Gantos  (From Norwell to Nowhere)

I love the smell of books in the morning.

(there is) a pillar of books that you’ve read that raise you up…that have influenced you.

(when you’re very young and you’re reading and realize) you might be a book…the hungry caterpillar has a hole in it and you have a belly button.

Tamora Pierce (Battle Magic)

My father had three daughters. That meant I was the oldest boy.

Holly Black (Doll Bones)

Inspired by mom who said the house was haunted and told her, “Don’t astral project.”

big, elaborate story with friends growing up. Hard to give that up.

Nancy Werlin (Unthinkable)

Stories are not childish. They nourish us, give us courage, teach us how to empathize.

When you’re young, you don’t know you can repair yourself.

Chris Crutcher (Period 9)

You can tell who the good teachers are because they like the same stories/characters you do.

Education doesn’t happen unless you get into the imagination.

Joan Bauer (Almost Home)

What does hope really look like? Where was it lost? Where is it hiding in the story?

Meg Rosoff (Picture Me Gone)

Secretly I’m writing for middle-aged women. I don’t know why children like my books.

The idea that we have to give kids hope is … I don’t have any to spare.

I hope I come up with another idea so my family doesn’t starve.

Laurie Halse Anderson (The Impossible Knife of Memory)

Good books build strong, resilient souls.

English class is where you learn the tools to survive.

family pain that is the scars, love story that is the muscle.



Next year’s conference is the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving in Washington, DC. Go!