|When eaten warm, the peanut butter center is molten|
I'm blogging out of baking order to post this today because tomorrow, June 12, is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day! Now the traditional peanut butter cookie we all know and love is the one with the cross hatches, sometimes sprinkled with sugar, and sometimes made with creamy peanut butter or crunchy peanut butter. My personal favorite is made with chocolate chips because, heretical as this might be to peanut butter purists, I mostly like peanut butter only when it's paired with chocolate. So I'm going with this peanut butter-flavored chocolate cookie with a dollop of peanut butter filling inside. This may not be your grandma's peanut butter cookie but hey, we all have to honor cookies our own way.
The chocolate cookie dough was very easy to work with and shape around the filling. It wasn't too sticky or too dry/crumbly but just right. I ended up only getting 15 filling balls instead of 17 and even then, I ended with too much chocolate cookie dough. You might want to double the filling recipe if you want to make these cookies as is. I ended up getting creative and used the remaining dough to wrap around Hershey Kisses, chunks of Snickers and whole Oreo cookies, just to see how they'd turn out. If you bake with kids, this is a good recipe to make with them and have them choose different "fillings" to put inside the cookie. Once it's all wrapped around whatever filling you decide, it's hard to tell what's inside and part of the fun after baking them is discovering which one you got.
Note that the recipe says to bake these for only 6 minutes so don't take your eye off of them or they'll be overdone. I was a little skeptical about baking them for such little time but it turned out to be perfect, at least in my oven. The chocolate cookie was soft and when eaten warm, the peanut butter filling was molten. This was like eating an upscale version of a peanut butter cup in cookie form. The key is using a rich dark cocoa for the chocolate cookie dough so you get a deep dark chocolate flavor that's complemented by the sweeter peanut butter filling.
|An upscale version of a Reese's peanut butter cup in cookie form|
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces and softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 375⁰F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a sifter, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Sift onto a large piece of parchment or wax paper.
3. Place the softened butter, ½ cup of the granulated sugar, and the ¼ cup peanut butter in the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on low for 1 minute, then on medium for 1 minute more. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Mix on medium-high for 1 minute. Scrape down again.
4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium for 30 seconds; scrape down again once they have been incorporated, about 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula or your hands to finish mixing the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Chill the dough in the refrigerator while making the filling. (Do not keep the dough in the refrigerator for more than 20 minutes; otherwise the dough will be difficult to form into the desired shape.)
5. Make the doodle filling: Place the ¼ cup peanut butter and the confectioners’ sugar in a clean bowl of a stand electric mixer, then beat on medium for 10 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Portion 17 level teaspoons of the filling onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. Roll each portion into a smooth, round ball.
6. Using 1 heaping tablespoon, portion 17 pieces of dough. Roll each portion of dough into a smooth round ball, then flatten each ball in the palm of your hand into a 3-inch-diameter circle. Using your thumb, make a small indentation, then fold the dough around the filling and roll it into a smooth, round ball. Roll the balls in the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar to coat.
7. Place the Doodles on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart widthwise and 2 inches apart lengthwise. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 6 minutes, until barely firm. (Overbaking will cause these cookies to become hard.) Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Store in a tightly sealed plastic container.