Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Match Made in Heaven {Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies}

As many of you probably know, I am a sad sucker for anything that combines my two favorite sweet loves: chocolate (in almost any form) and peanut butter (the creamy form, most often). Recent example: I sampled the new flavor of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (my favorite candy, bythe way- duh!): Reese's DARK. I bless you, inventor of new flavor, whoever you may be! I could barely concentrate on my Scrabble game with hubby, I was so intent on enjoying every morsel of that treat (to my credit, I unselfishly gave the second cup to hubby to try even though he's not a fan of Dark chocolate!). :) Anyway, since that's not the focus of this blog post, I'll move on...
The pleasant discovery I'm about to recount began as most pleasant discoveries do...with a dilemma. On a whim last month, I picked up a bag of white chocolate morsels on my usual grocery trip, thinking maybe I could try making one of my favorite cookies, white chocolate macadamia nut, for church or Bible study one of these days. However, when I finally found the nuts, they astounded me! $12.60 per lb! I quickly decided I did not want to spend quite that much on nuts, but left the morsels in my cart, hoping I could figure out an agreeable alternative. Now, 3 weeks or so later, I still hadn't used the white chips. So, Thursday morning, in preparation for our evening home group, I racked my brain for a cookie I could throw together including my white chips. And, if any of you ladies are like me, you know what I mean when I say that it was one of those days when I knew it had to be chocolate. And not just white chocolate. There had to be real, chocolaty chocolate involved. And, because of my recent joyful discovery of the goodness of Simply Jiff peanut butter, I soon determined it, too, had a part to play. So, as usual, I scoured the internet for a recipe which would have a chocolate peanut butter dough and white chocolate chips. Sounded fabulous to me. But I couldn't find it. Chocolate dough with white chips. Peanut butter dough with chocolate chips. Peanut butter dough with white chips. Chocolate dough with peanut butter chips and white chips. I was getting frustrated when finally I lighted on a blog called "BrownEyedBaker"- ah, here was the girl for me. :) Her "Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter" cookie recipe wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it was close enough to tweak. I would simply leave out the peanuts and chocolate chips and put in my white chips. See, I could even still call them "Double Chocolate"! :) They look marvelously fudgy and...ooh, I could almost taste them!

So, I pulled out my ingredients, donned my apron, and started listening to my audio book, as I often do in the kitchen. Baking cookies is such a relaxing exercise for me, and when I try something different, it just adds a new element of fun!
First, of course, I mixed the dry ingredients together, using a whisk (which, by the way, is not just for beating eggs anymore! Works very well at blending flours and other dry stuff!). Mmm...cocoa powder...

Then I whipped the butter well, added the sugars and peanut butter (yum!) and followed the directions to blend it for about three minutes until it was light and fluffy and a lovely tan color.

Then the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla- 2 teaspoons (another reason to like the BrownEyedBaker- I follow my sister-in-law's advice, and usually use 2 instead of 1 tsp of vanilla in my cookies and other desserts)!
After combining the wet and dry ingredients, the dough was a fabulous fudge consistency and I plopped a few chip-less mounds on the cookies sheet (we have an older man at our study whom I spoil a bit by complying with his aversion to any cookies with chips in them!). That done, I eagerly stirred in the white chips. I love the color contrast of the white in the deliciously dark dough!

A couple of little nibbles told me this was going to be a winner! The peanut butter and the chocolate perfectly balanced each other for an amazing taste combination, and the creamy white chocolate served to delicately mellow out the otherwise decadent dough. Sigh.
I was a little surprised to find that, due to the consistency of the dough, the cookies hardly changed shape in the oven at all! They remained dense little lumps, and were a bit deceptive as to whether they were cooked through or not, but when pressed, revealed doneness. So, be advised, they don't have to look done to be done.
They say the proof is in the pudding, but with cookies, I say the proof is on the plate! By the end of our Bible study, the nearly empty serving plate, as well as a few compliments, proved I'm not the only one who appreciates a good match of excellent flavor!

with my tweaks (for the original recipe, click on the link above)
makes about 40 cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's!)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I'm in love with Simply Jiff!)
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (or however much you like) white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)

Preheat oven to 350.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Beat together butter, peanut butter and both sugars with mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in chips with a rubber spatula.
Drop onto cookie sheets by heaping tablespoons, about 2 in. apart.
Bake about 11 minutes, until sides are set and middles are still soft.
Devour. If you're feeling particularly unselfish, share.

1 comment:

  1. I love some salt and chocolate together. It's so divine!


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