Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Jeff's sister went to the chocolate show in New York a few weeks ago and brought him back some treats for his birthday. Among them was this jar of chocolate peanut butter.

I thought this would be perfect for chocolate peanut butter cookies. And I even had an occasion - Jeff gave a big talk last night that was filmed for DVD. He rose to the occasion - a performance clearly deserving of a chocolatey, peanut buttery reward!

I also took the opportunity to do some experimenting. I got an awesome new oven back in August, but I had yet to try the convection function. I thought cookies would be a good way to test this out. I could try the first batch and, if it didn't work for some reason, I'd still have another batch I could do the regular way. As it turned out, everything went well. My oven manual says that the timer would beep when the time is 75% up (since things may cook faster in a convection oven), but I'm pretty sure that didn't happen. Still, they came out beautifully.

While I think the cookies were good, I'm not a huge fan of the chocolate peanut butter. I felt that, rather than complementing one another, the two flavors almost cancelled each other out. I can taste the peanut butter, but it seems weaker than it should be. I don't think I can taste the chocolate at all (well, maybe in the aftertaste). Overall, I think it produces a pretty ordinary cookie (rather than the kick-ass one I was expecting). But I'm being critical because it's my job. Based on the number of cookies Jeff took last night, I'm pretty sure he was pleased with them.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Southern Living's Southern Barbecue Cookbook (source of all my favorite cookie recipes).

1 c butter, softened
1 c chocolate peanut butter (of course, you could use any kind of peanut butter you have on hand)
1 c sugar + some extra for topping
1 c brown sugar (I used light brown because I didn't want it to conflict with the flavors in the cookie)
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat butter and peanut butter together until creamy (you could, of course, do this with a hand mixer as well. I think, though, that the cookies turn out the best when the butter is creamed on its own before the sugar is added). Gradually add sugars and cream together. Then slowly add eggs and vanilla (I like to do this on a slightly lower speed, so as not to whip the eggs). In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add this gradually to the butter mixture. Cover and chill for about 3 hours.

When chilled, preheat oven to 375°. Shape the dough into 1/2" balls. Dip a fork in sugar and press the balls flat, making a criss-cross pattern on top (this is the international symbol for peanut butter cookies).

Bake 7-8 minutes (the middles may be slightly less than set, but this is good - it will allow the cookies to stay moist and chewy rather than crispy). This recipe makes about 6 dozen (although that depends on how big you make them - I made slightly less because I make big cookies . . . and eat some cookie dough in the process!).

No comments:

Post a Comment