Saturday, March 6, 2010

peanut butter stuffed chocolate cookies - a cookie with an identity crisis

peanut butter stuffed chocolate cookies - 51I was excitedly awaiting the arrival of my cousin so much to the point that I could barely contain myself. To alleviate this impatient feeling, I decided to bake something to calm my nerves. Knowing that my dear cousin is an all-inclusive eater, I sought this opportunity to bake something that my boyfriend (a.k.a. Mr. Picky-Eater) would not like. Two ingredients popped into my mind- Peanut butter (his dreadful nemesis) and chocolate (his famously proclaimed disliked ingredient- which is in fact secretly one of his favorites because I know him too well). I recalled a cookie recipe I found in my old Better Homes and Gardens magazine which incorporated both peanut butter and chocolate, so I dug through my bookshelf to find this recipe.

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These chocolate cookies were stuffed with a creamy peanut butter center. Even more delicious was the fact that the chocolate outer layer also got a little dollop of peanut butter hidden in (my boyfriend's worst nightmare- a double whammy of peanut butter).

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I noticed that there was quite a bit of brown sugar called for in the recipe, so I hoped it would be an almost chocolate-sugar-cookie of some sort.

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The egg and finally the chocolate got mixed into the batter. Only after folding in the cocoa powder did the dough finally begin to turn a dark-chocolaty color.

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After preparing the batter for the peanut butter center, I rolled out and placed the dough balls for each.

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I did have a slight dilemma with the amount of balls in front of me (that's what she said). I seemed to have had a brain fart, and rolled out equal amounts for both filling and outside; when in fact there needed to be double the amount of chocolate balls to peanut butter balls.

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No worries, I rolled two peanut butter balls to make one large (and correctly sized) ball, which I then placed into between two awaiting chocolate balls. (There's way too many "balls" in that sentence.)

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After closing the edges shut, I heavily rolled them in sugar as I would with typical sugar cookies.

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The outer surface of the cookies delicately cracked and looked like little whimsical puffy rocks.

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After taking my first bite, I was conflicted as to whether I liked these or not. They weren't as sweet as sugar cookies as I was hoping for, nor were they peanut-butter-y as the recipe implied. In fact, they weren't even as chocolaty as the cookie appeared to be. I'm not even sure what to call these cookies- they lacked a category for which to be differentiated as.

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I came to the conclusion that these were so-so cookies. I mean, they weren't anywhere near inedible garbage (like my first sugar cookies were, for example), nor were they deliciously irresistible (like my chocolate chip cookies usually are). After tasting these, my cousin pointed out an interesting relation: My banana cupcakes were too moist, and my chocolate-peanut-butter-cookies were too dry. If only they could lend their characteristics to one another.

Taken from Better Homes and Garden magazine, 100 Best Cookies, December 2009
"Peanut Butter Munchies"

1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda; set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine butter and the 1/4 cup peanut butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture. Shape dough into 32 balls, each about 1+1/4 inches in diameter. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and the 1/2 cup peanut butter. Beat until smooth, kneading by hand if necessary. Shape mixture into 32 balls.
4. For each cookie, flatten a chocolate dough ball; top with a peanut butter ball. (This is where I had my little mistake.). Shape dough around peanut utter ball to enclose. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
5. Bake in preheated oven about 8 minutes or just until set and surfaces are slightly cracked. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.

Makes 32 cookies.

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