Monday, February 1, 2010

Chunky Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies, for Joanne!

This recipe is adapted (as so many Web recipes are) from one in my well-worn Martha Stewart's Cookies (2008) cookbook.  It falls into the "chunky and nutty" category and is found on page 179.  My preference is to eliminate the called-for cinnamon and chopped roasted peanuts because my very good friend Joanne has requested a GREAT peanut butter cookie with chunks of chocolate. Tall order? No, it's simple, and this recipe is just right, with a few adjustments. (You, of course, may keep the 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and peanuts if you wish.) Who better than Martha as THE resource for a perfect cookie recipe?  In response to Joanne's request, I replace Martha's semi-sweet chocolate chips with an equal amount of milk chocolate chunks.  The successful and timeless mingling of chocolate with peanut butter is alive and well in this cookie.  "It's a good thing!" Thank you, Martha!

Chunky Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon cinnamon if you wish  -I choose to leave it out.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egggs
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chunks (Martha uses semi-sweet chips)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Optional:  2/3 cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. (Cinnamon, if using, goes in the mix.)

Put butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes.  Add sugars; mix 2 minutes.  Mix in eggs.  Gradually add flour mixture; mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chunks (peanuts if using) and vanilla until well distributed.  Refrigerate dough until slightly firm, 15 minutes.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls.  Space balls 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Flatten slightly.  Bake until just golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.  Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.  Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.  (Good luck with that.)

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