Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I needed to bring a dessert for a work function and perhaps inspired by living with my dad, who loves peanut butter enough to eat a peanut butter sandwich every day, I was in the mood for a peanut butter cookie. Not that peanut butter cookie recipes are that hard but I decided to go for one from a website I've looked at in the past, Joy the Baker (and no, I don't like simply because my name is Joyce!)

I followed this recipe to a T (even a cautious sprinkle of nutmeg, which to be honest, was maybe too light since I didn't taste it) but added a cup of peanut butter chips to the batter. In my opinion, a good peanut butter chocolate chip cookie has gooey gobs of peanut butter AND chocolate to help balance it all. I also was a bit indecisive in how I approached shaping these cookies - readers know how much I love my Oxo cookie scoops and how efficient (lazy) it's made me in creating cookies. I've turned recipes that aren't techniclly drop cookies into opportunities to use my scoop.  So even though I know a classic peanut butter cookie bears the cross hatch marks from a fork, I was curious to see how the batch would turn out in simple rounded form. Still delicious and moist! And then I started thinking that if I was bringing these to a work event, I needed them to be readily recognizable as peanut butter so people would nut allergies would avoid them. So the next couple of sheets got the fork treatment.

At the end of the day, there really wasn't much of a difference between the two shapes - loyalists would argue that it wouldn't taste as peanut buttery without the traditional shape but to be honest, I think the simple rounded approch had a slight edge in terms moistness/texture in my book. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter- crunchy or smooth, but not natural
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (decreased slightly to make room for the peanut butter chips)
1 cup of peanut butter chips (my addition)
1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies

PS - Joy the Baker took much better pictures (in my rush, I only snapped one picture) so if you're not feeling inspired to make them, be sure to click on the link above.

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat to 350 degrees F . Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for a minute or two, until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and, on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappear. Mix in the chocolate chips (and peanut butter chips). You’ll have a soft a pliable dough.

Pour the 1/2 cup sugar into a small bowl. Working with a level tablespoonful of dough for each cookie, roll the dough between your palms into balls and drop the balls, a couple at a time, into the sugar. Roll the balls around in the sugar to coat them, then place on the backing sheet, leaving 2 inches between them. Dip the tines of the fork in the sugar and press the tines against each ball first in one direction and then in a perpendicular direction- you should have a flattened rough of dough with crisscross indentations.

Bake the dough for 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back at the midway point. When done, the cookies will be lightly colored and still be a little soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.

EnJOY! :)

PS-What do you think - are a loyalists to the peanut butter cookie look or do you think by adding chips, I was safe to go with the standard chocolate chip cookie shape? And dare I mention that I tried a sheet of cookies without rolling them in sugar because of fears of sweetness (which was sacrilege, I've come to the conclusion that peanut butter cookies MUST ALWAYS be rolled in sugar).

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