Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

The other day Claire and I were having a discussion about ketchup and why she liked to put so much on her (homemade!) hamburgers. "Why do you even bother with the other stuff?" I asked. "All you can taste is the ketchup!"
"I like ketchup, " she replied. "What's wrong with having one flavor dominate?"

That is the big conundrum with these cookies. They're peanut butter cookies with chocolate in them. But really, it's a waste of chocolate because all you taste is peanut butter.

Don't get me wrong--I love peanut butter cookies. And the chocolate perhaps keeps them from being too sweet.

If I had to write nutrition facts for these cookies, sugar would indeed come first by weight: brown sugar, white sugar, sugar in the chocolate, sugar in the peanut butter.

Next would be peanut butter. There's even more peanut butter than butter. That leads to the dominant flavor but also a nice sandy texture.

This may be why I didn't taste the chocolate much in these cookies: some of it ended up on the fridge in a spoon-flinging accident. I have no recollection of how that happened.

To sum up, these are really good peanut butter cookies that happen to have some chocolate in them. So maybe Claire's right.

Here's the recipe. Make it when you're in the mood for peanut butter but have chocolate lying around the house.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 oz. semisweet chocolate
1/2 c. (4 oz.) butter, room temperature
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. (3.5 oz.) sugar
1/2 c. (3.5 oz.) brown sugar
1/2 c. (4.6 oz.) smooth peanut butter
1 large egg
1-1/2 c. (6 oz.) sifted flour

Heat the oven to 375; line some cookie sheets with foil or parchment. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave. Set aside to let cool.
Cream the butter with the baking soda and salt; add the vanilla. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes. Beat in the peanut butter, then the melted chocolate. Beat in the egg, and then mix in the flour on low speed.
Plop the dough out onto a long piece of waxed paper or parchment and use a knife or bench scraper to cut it into 48 more or less equal sized pieces (this is a really good exercise for me, because I always make my cookies too big). Roll the pieces into balls, put the balls on the cookie sheets 12 to a sheet, and make a crisscross pattern on each with a fork.
Bake for about 15 minutes, switching the cookie sheets front to back and top to bottom if you have a non-convection oven. Don't let them get too dark.
Cool and serve with a glass of milk.

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