Thursday, March 27, 2008
Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Another birthday, another chance to bake something for someone. At first Adam said he didn't want anything since he didn't like cake. He persisted after I said it didn't have to be cake and he just told me to bake whatever I was going to bake anyway, and just give him some extra. Well, that's no fun. So I asked if he had any favorite flavor combinations like chocolate and coconut or chocolate and peanut butter. His eyes lit up at chocolate and peanut butter so the hard part was done.
With those flavors I had a couple of recipes instantly in mind. One of them was for the Dorie Greenspan fudgy brownies with peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache -- and I still might do that tomorrow -- but the other was a variation on the Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies I was so disappointed in before. I had recently seen a recipe that called for peanut butter cookies with chocolate chunks that had a chocolate and peanut butter frosting for a filling -- but I couldn't find it for the life of me and I have no idea where I saw it. I still had that combo in my head though so I decided to make my own variation.
The cookie base is one of my favorite chocolate/peanut butter cookie recipes and I have been making it for years now. The recipe is in my Gourmet's Quick Kitchen book that was the first cookbook I bought when I was young and first married. The marriage has since broken up, but the book stayed with me. One of the great things about the recipe is that it makes a very small batch -- only a dozen cookies -- but it's also very easy to double the recipe if you want to make more cookies. It's also incredibly quick to throw together and uses ingredients that most people have on their shelves (well, as long as they bake every now and again.)
The cookies bake up rich and dark and chocolaty but with a lot of peanut butter flavor and some crunch from the crunchy peanut butter. I used Hershey's Special Dark for the cocoa powder which is why my cookies turn out so dark, and I added some peanut butter chips to the batter along with the chocolate chips since I had some on hand.
For the frosting I stuck with the tried and true Peanut Butter Frosting from the Dorie Greenspan brownie recipe that I mentioned above. It's quick, easy and incredibly good. Combined with the ultra-chocolate, ultra-peanut butter cookies it turned a regular old cookie recipe into an amazingly decadent treat. My only advice -- have a cold glass of milk ready when you eat one. :)
Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chunky style peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter, sugar, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Then beat in egg until smooth. Into mixture sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, beating until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Drop cookie dough by heaping teaspoons about 1 inch apart on an ungreased large baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 10 minutes or until just firm to the touch. Transfer cookies with a metal spatula to racks to cool.
1 cup chunky peanut butter (do not use natural or old-fashioned)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the frosting:
Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter in medium bowl to blend. Beat in powdered sugar, salt, and nutmeg, then milk and vanilla. Spread frosting over cakes. If you are conservative with the frosting between the cake layers, there should be just enough to frost the sides of the cake. If you want a lot of frosting, double the recipe and go to town.