Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bites: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook. Makes approximately 5 1/2 dozen (54) cookies.

Mr. Liggiland's favorite dessert combination is chocolate and peanut b
utter, so I'm always looking for new ways to combine the two. He and his team had a long week at work recently, so I wanted to make a batch of cookies for him to take to the office. I searched high and low, but couldn't find a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I liked. So, I went to my trusty Gourmet Cookbook and decided to adapt its Peanut Butter Cookies recipe to my needs. The results were mixed (haha, get it, mixed? nevermind...). I think I added too many chocolate chips, because the dough broke apart at the end and turned into a crumbly mess. After rolling each ball of dough by hand, they baked up fine, but I thought there had to be a better way.

Mr. Liggiland invited some friends over to play board games Saturday, so I decided to use them as my guinea pigs and took a second stab at the cookies.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter (not "all-natural"; I used Jif redu
ced fat chunky peanut butter, and it was fine)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Gourmet recommends that you butter your baking sheets. I
did the first time, but it felt unneccessary. These cookies have so much fat, I really don't think you'll have a problem with them sticking. But, butter your baking sheets if you like. It can't hurt.)

Beat together butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Before beating.

After beating.

Beat in egg, then add flour, baking powder, and salt, beating just until dough forms.

The dough after it comes together. Apologies for the blurriness.

Remove bowl from mixer and fold in 3/4 c. chocolate chips.

Mmm, mmm, good.

(I think this is where I went wrong the first time - I bea
t in 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips on low speed, and the dough dissintegrated into a crumbly mess. In this particular recipe, less is more, and folding by hand seems to be more effective. Even so, the dough still broke apart a little bit this time. Perhaps mini-chocolate chips would work better next time?)

Roll dough into balls approximately 1 1/4 inches in diameter and place on cookie sheet approximately 2 1/2 inches apart.

Why, yes, I am Type A. How did you know?

Gently flatten balls with fork, creating a crosshatch pattern. This is important because the cookies don't spread much on their own while baking.

Pretty little cookies, ready for the oven.

Bake in middle of oven until golden and slightly puffed, approx
imately 10 to 11 minutes (10 1/2 minutes was perfect for me). Cool on cookie sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool.

Ah, yeah...

After sampling enough cookies to constitute a scientific sample, I
thought this batch was pretty darn good. Maybe still missing a certain something, but definitely better than the first attempt. So I left my cookies to cool and went about my normal Saturday morning routine, reading my usual blogs. And then I came across the most recent post over at Addicted to Costco, featuring these delicious-looking lovelies:

Chocolate-dipped, chocolate-drizzled chocolate chip cookies. Photo from Addicted to Costco.

Now, I am not the kind of girl who can say "no" to anything that inco
rporates a chocolate drizzle. And then I realized: that's what my cookies were missing! A luxurious, gooey, chocolatey drizzle.

I still had half a bag of chocolate chips, so I put 1/4 cup in a microwave-safe bowl and microwaved them on 50% power for 2 1/2 minutes (try them at 2 minutes first, stir to melt, and then continue heating in 30 second intervals after that). I tried drizzling gently with a fork at first, but just got lumpy, second-rate Keebler Elf-looking stripes.

Not so much.

Then I opted for a spoon and more of a spatter paint approach, and got much better results.

Now these look almost as good as they taste.

Mr. Liggiland and I agree: these cookies are much, much better with a chocolate drizzle. The geeky hordes seemed to enjoy them as well (the cookies at least kept them at bay for the evening). I think I might attempt these again sometime down the road, incorporating mini chocolate chips instead of regular ones, or perhaps eliminating them all together and just using the chocolate drizzle. Give the recipe a try yourself, feel free to experiment a little, and tell me what you come up with!

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