Thursday, April 30, 2009
I feel like I have done a bit of an injustice here by always talking about chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. To attempt to correct that, you may be wondering why I am here with something that, once again, has chocolate in it.
I have a very good reason actually. Okay, so the first one isn't really a reason, more of a justification, but there you go, nonetheless.
These cookies don't just have chocolate... they have PEANUT BUTTER! Ta Da! Yes, I am well aware that was lame, but you know me and you know that is just the way I roll.
These Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies are easy to make and ridiculously good. The great thing is that the dough freezes and bakes really nicely right from the freezer, with only a couple of additional minutes added to the baking time. Since this is probably one of the very first times that milk chocolate has ever made an appearance on my blog you may be surprised that it is what I used in these cookies. Well, after the other Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies I made a while back, with the very dark chocolate, I decided to see the difference. It was profound. The milk chocolate compliments the peanut butter beautifully here, where, in the other cookies, the dark chocolate was really good, but somewhat overpowering. The tip to NOT try to change the chocolate out came straight from the recipe, and for once I listened. So, lesson learned, milk chocolate plays nicer with peanut butter here.
So, the REAL reason I am talking about chocolate again is that, since Mother's Day is coming up and all, the wonderful folks over at See's Candies offered to giveaway a $25 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers! That is right! I'm not just talking about chocolate, but now you have the chance to get $25 worth of the good stuff - of course, if you are generous and not begrudgingly greedy with chocolate like yours truly then you would actually use it to get something for a Mom in your life (and hey, maybe that is you!).
All you have to do to have a chance to win is to head over to See's website to get some great ideas for Mother's Day Gifts and tell me which is your favorite. Contest will run until Saturday, 12 PM MST!
Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks
Note: This dough needs to chill for at least 3 hours so plan your cravings accordingly.
Makes approx. 24 large cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (the only change I made was to use light brown - it was all I had at the time, but can't wait to try with the dark)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces good milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the peanut butter and beat until just incorporated.
Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, or the flat bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, gently press each cookie down to barely flatten it - it will form a tall disk shape.
Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the individual cookies to the rack to cool completely (although they are also delicious warm).
The cookies can be stored, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
NOTE: Since this makes so many cookies I shaped out all the dough (including pressing it down slightly) on a lined baking sheet (don't worry about spacing for freezing) and placed it into the freezer until they were frozen solid. You can then move them to a freezer gallon ziptop bag and bake a few at a time when you want them. Straight from the freezer just add a couple of minutes to your baking.