Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
For a 50th birthday party with a fellow believer in “a spoonful of peanut butter helps the medicine go down” who happens to also have an infatuation with M&Ms, a perfect hybrid cookie was in order. There are more healing powers in the chocolate-peanut butter combo than modern medicine can offer. That might be a bold statement, but I have found no better cure for cramps. Having never made peanut butter cookies before, I felt I had to do a lot of research, especially since I am partial to softer cookies despite peanut butter varieties having a crunchier reputation. Of course there is a happy place in between, and working with dense, fat-filled peanut butter, I figured the moisture content wouldn’t be a problem if I found a good recipe.
Another story of infidelity….how do I manage to stray from recipes so easily? I can’t commit. I know everyone has faults, I’m not exempt. And sometimes it’s not so much a fault as it is a certain lacking. I found a great recipe that needed some minor adjustments, and I am only recently becoming comfortable with making my own tweaks while baking. Baking is fickle and one gram off could put 30 cookies in the garbage. So I tread carefully. This outcome was very successful. I’ve already made them twice and have requests for more at work. I have found that you can’t skimp on the margarine- the taste won’t be affected, but the cookie will fall apart easily. This cookie dough isn’t one that can be spooned onto the cookies sheet – you have to clump it together with your hands and shape them like patties. Stir in the chocolate chips before you clump the dough together or you’ll be kneading it for a while to get them incorporated.
Soft and crisp at the same time with chocolate surprises in every bite. Spreading an extra teaspoon of peanut butter on top of a freshly baked cookie like I did is optional but a highly recommended enhancement.
Makes about 36 small cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
1 ¾ c. Unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. Baking soda
¾ tsp. Salt
1 c. Brown sugar
¾ c. Smooth peanut butter
½ c. Earth or Smart Balance
2-3 T. Almond or soy milk
2 T. Vanilla Extract
1 c. Chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the sugar, peanut butter and margarine together until smooth. Add almond/soy milk and vanilla and blend until well mixed. Add flour mixture and work with hands when it becomes too thick for your blender. Fold in chocolate chip, pressing firmly into dough.
Using 1 ½-2 tablespoons of dough per cookie, form dough into small discs. Press in 2 directions with the back of a fork for a crisscross pattern. Place on cookie sheet and bake in oven 7-8 minutes or until just golden on the edges. Be careful not to over bake. Remove from oven and let cool on pan to finish cooking. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.