Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies w/ Peanut Butter Drizzle
We all have our go-to resources. For my dad, it’s an enormous dictionary containing a full-page spread of “Recent Developments in Aircraft,” which features sketches of WWI-era zeppelins. For my mom, it’s Wikipedia. For me, it’s Sally’s Baking Addiction. Whenever I want to try a new type of cookie or a new use for a leftover ingredient, I check her blog. I know that whatever recipe I find on that website will be a winner, just like my dad knows that any word worth knowing can be found in his behemoth dictionary (he’s still warming up to the concepts of electricity and indoor plumbing btw).
Since I was making these cookies to send with my boyfriend to his mom for her birthday, I had to make sure they would be durable enough to withstand a 4 hour car-ride…in late-July…in a black car…most likely inside a gym bag.
I think that mothers fall into two camps: 1. the white chocolate/lemon camp, and 2. the chocolate/peanut butter camp. My mom is a devout lemon and white chocolate disciple, and my boyfriend’s mom is a total chocolate-peanut-butter-o-phile, so Sally’s Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies fit the bill perfectly.
The original recipe that these cookies are based upon can be found here. This recipe is certainly a winner as is and requires absolutely no tinkering whatsoever; however, I am a die-hard tinkerer, so I had to make a few adaptations.
For structural integrity, I added milk chocolate morsels to the peanut butter drizzle so that the garnish would be semi-solid for safe transport.
I swapped low-fat chocolate milk for the regular milk because, well, it’s chocolate milk.
I also added 2 teaspoons of espresso powder to deepen the chocolate experience ( I like knocking off socks, and a shot of espresso powder is a GREAT way to de-sock even the toughest of cookies).
Finally, I froze the chopped peanut butter cup candies so they would stay intact during mixing/baking and also added mini-chocolate chips for added fun.
Just kidding, one more thing: I sprinkled with sea salt. I’m sorry, Sally, I had to!
For drizzling, I recommend transferring the melted peanut-butter-chocolate-chip mixture (a.k.a. “nectar of the gods”) to a zip-top bag (preferably a freezer bag because they withstand the heat better than a standard sandwich bag). Then, just snip the corner for precision drizzling — a sport to be featured in the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang).
Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies w/ Peanut Butter Drizzle
Inspired by: Sally’s Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons chocolate milk
1 cup chopped peanut butter cup candies, frozen overnight
1/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, use a fork to combine and aerate flour cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular mixing bowl, if using a hand mixer…which is totally fine!), cream together softened butter and both sugars, until pale and fluffy, ~3 minutes on medium speed. Beat in peanut butter, ~1 minute, then beat in egg and vanilla, ~1 additional minute. Turn off mixer. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to bowl, turn mixer to low, and beat until JUST combined. Turn off mixer, and add next 1/3 of dry ingredients, beating until JUST combined. Turn off mixer, add final increment of dry ingredients along with the milk, and beat on low JUST until combined. Fold in chopped peanut butter cup candies and mini chips [NOTE: for extra-pretty cookies, you can reserve a few candy pieces to press on top of each dough ball just prior to baking]. Form heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and place balls on a wax-paper-covered plate. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and chill 4-24 hours. Avoid storing any really pungent things (e.g. fish, stuffed cabbage, or dead bodies) in your fridge during this time period.
One hour prior to baking, remove dough ball plate from fridge to a kitchen counter, keeping plate covered with the plastic. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 8 dough balls per sheet (~2″ apart), and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through bake time. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on sheets for 3 minutes, before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
Once cookies have cooled, melt chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Fold in peanut butter and combine until smooth and a tad-drippy (I think a mini spatula works best for this part, but use whatever tools you have on-hand). Transfer to a zip top bag, use scissors to snip off a small corner of the bag. Squeeze drizzle over cookies, and let cookies stay on racks until set ( you can speed up this process by transferring the cooling racks to the fridge).
Cookies may be stored in airtight containers in the fridge or at room temperature, for up to 5 days. Personally, I like soft cookies chilled, but it’s entirely your choice! This is America!!