Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunkers

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunkers - October 6, 2009

I've said a few times that I'm not wild about peanut butter so it might seem odd that I seem to bake so much with it. Well, it's not that odd because I like peanut butter in almost anything but its natural form. I especially like it paired with chocolate. Peanuts are also the only nut I'll voluntarily add in a peanut butter cookie, mostly if I use chunky peanut butter but I also like to sprinkle chopped peanuts on top of the cookie. That's more preferably than having it baked in it. I also tend to buy the big jars of peanut butter at Costco so I feel compelled to bake with peanut butter to use it up. Later on, I'll blog about the peanut butter brownies I've made as some of those are really good.

This recipe is for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunkers from Nancy Baggett's All-American Cookie Book. It's a pretty simple, straightforward recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I don't like the traditional peanut butter cookie that's crisp. I like my cookies to be more like the texture of a regular chocolate chip cookie but with a peanut butter flavor. These cookies are like that. The only disappointing thing about them is they spread and I've already made my preference about thick, chunky cookies quite clear. And because they spread, when the recipe calls for dipping the dough balls into chopped peanuts and chocolate chips, I don't see the point because the cookies spread so much that the chocolate chip/nut bits space out on the cookie anyway.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunkers

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped (divided)

About ½ cup (2 ¼ ounces) chopped unsalted peanuts, for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and sugar until very well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla and beat until well blended. Beat or stir in the flour mixture until evenly incorporated. Stir in 1 cup of the chopped chocolate. Let the dough stand for 5 minutes, or until firmed up slightly.
3. Shape portion of the dough into 1 ¾” balls with lightly greased hands. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining chocolate and the peanuts. Dip one half of each ball into the chocolate-peanut mixture until some bits are embedded. Place the balls, coated side up, on the baking sheets, spacing about 2 ¾” apart. Pat down the tops of the balls just slightly.
4. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 13 to 16 minutes, or until lightly browned all over, slightly darker at the edges, and slightly soft when pressed in the centers. Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning.
5. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks. Let stand until completely cooled.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 ½ months.

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