Monday, June 29, 2015

Easy Choco-Peanut Butter Fix

Delicious cookie-baking does not get any easier than this recipe from Everyday Food. Start with simple, delicious ingredients, mix them up, bake them off and done.

These cake-like peanut butter-flavored cookies are loaded, no, overloaded with chocolate chips, which guarantees a pleasing ratio of chocolate to peanut butter in every bite. And because the ingredients can be found or stored in your pantry, you can have cookies whenever you want without a special trip to the grocery store.

Because the ingredients are simple, it's key to use high quality chocolate and the best peanut butter for baking that you can find. In my book, that means Skippy creamy full-fat peanut butter. I read several reviews of this recipe complaining that the cookies lacked flavor or were dry. I'm guessing (based on my experience of baking with other brands of peanut butter, especially the natural, preservative-chemical-free kinds) that those bakers were not using good old Skippy with all those wonderful hydrogenated vegetable oils...

Hey, it's dessert, not health food!

The recipe calls for room temperature butter. I'm often asked, how long do you need to let butter sit out at room temp before it's ready? Do I really have to wait that long when I'm in the mood for homemade cookies?

Here's a trick that I've found works great for achieving room temp butter for cookie baking (and even cake baking). Before measuring out your ingredients, cut the butter into small cubes. Then measure out your ingredients, preheat your oven, get your baking pans ready. In 10 minutes, your butter should be soft enough to work with, and doing all that prep work is a great way to spend that time.

Have fun...

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
adapted from Everyday Food

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 tsp kosher salt (you can add up to a teaspoon to taste)
1 cup peanut butter (smooth is preferred)
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate bars cut into chunks


DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks. For cakier cookies, chill in the fridge 30 minutes.

2.  Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two large baking sheets. Bake until golden, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

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