Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baking GALS Round 5 - Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

You’d think it would be easy to come up with some new exciting thing to bake for my monthly shipment to the troops, but for some reason every month I have a mental baking roadblock.  Unfortunately, my creativity wasn’t piqued when the request from the recipient of this shipment was chocolate chip cookies and skittles.  Chocolate chip?  Not something more exciting?  Besides, I had just made a big batch.  I trust that someone else will handle that one.  So then I turned to the skittles...hmmm.  I had brainstorming sessions with a few different people – what could I do?  Put them in sugar cookies?  Melt them down and use them in some other fashion – is that even possible?  Too much to think about, so I opted to take the easy route out on those, I bought three different flavors and am tossing them in the box with the cookies.

Since I refused to couldn’t do plain chocolate chip, I went with the next best chip…peanut butter.  I knew exactly what cookie recipe to use, one from the trusted bakers at America’s Test Kitchen.  They have an AMAZING chocolate cookie recipe – in fact, they’re pretty much brownies in cookie form and what could possibly be wrong with that?  And that’s coming from someone who 9 times out of 10 would choose something fruity over chocolatey.

Take my advice – make these for the chocolate lover in your life, you’ll score some major points.  And nobody will miss plain old chocolate chip!

Recipe adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook

2 cups AP Flour
½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I use regular and have never had a complaint!)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp table salt
16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (chopped or chips)
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups peanut butter chips (my addition)

Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and peanut butter chips in medium bowl and set aside.  Mix the eggs, vanilla and coffee powder in medium bowl and set aside.  Melt chocolate in double-boiler over just simmering water.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together.  The consistency will be grainy.  Gradually add the egg mixture and mix until incorporated.  Add the melted chocolate in a steady stream and mix well.  Gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes to develop fudge-like texture.

Adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions and pre-heat the oven to 350º.  Scoop about 1 ½ - 2 Tbsp of dough, roll into a ball and place on parchment covered baking sheets about 1 ½ inches apart.  Bake two sheets at a time, rotating halfway through baking until edges have begun to set but centers are still very soft – about 8-10 minutes.  Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.