"Honey, do you know what you can for me?" asked E. "No, what can I do for you?", I replied, fearing for the worst. Was there some horrible chore awaiting me somewhere? Did Sam the Cat leave us a "present" outside of his litter box? E replied, "You can make me peanut butter cookies and put some chocolate in them as well. You have all that chocolate laying around." Ah yes, since I go to many events, I get many gift bags. Inevitably, one of the objects in the bag is a bar or two of chocolate. The past few months have seen me amass quite the collection of chocolate. A pretty good state of affairs if you ask me.
I head into the kitchen and start gathering the ingredients. I immediately notice that I do not have enough butter to make the cookies. Shocking, I know. I'm sure you all have images of the tons of butter I have stored throughout the condo, just in case I have to make 50 gallons of hollandaise sauce. But alas, at the moment of the cookie making, I was down to a scant half stick. I was about to head to the door to head to the A&P across the street, when E told me to just use her whipped butter. Over the past few weeks, E has managed to forget that she has like a case of whipped butter at home and purchased some more. Reluctantly, I started to make the cookies.
The cookie dough looked dry when I got it all together. I formed a ball from some of the dough, so I continued. When I tried to flatten out the first ball, it just crumbled apart. I reformed it into a ball and just put the sheet pan in the oven. When I closed the door and started the timer, it hit me, 1/3 of a cup of whipped butter is not the same as 1/3 of a cup of stick butter. Oops! I crossed my fingers and hoped that the results would be edible.
In fact, they were quite good. I think I will revert back to stick butter next time, but the chocolate did add a nice addition level of flavor. I adapted a recipe from the venerable "Joy of Cooking" for these cookies. If you're playing along at home, here's the recipe:
1 1/2 Cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 ounces bitter sweet chocolate
1 large egg
1 cup peanut butter(Smooth or chunky)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together the flour and the baking soda. Beat the sugar, brown sugar and butter together. Beat in the chocolate, egg, peanut butter and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture. Make 1 inch balls and place on backing sheet about 2 inches apart. Lining the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat will help greatly. You can always just grease the baking sheets. Flatten the the balls into disks if you wish. If you leave them in balls, you will need to cook them a little longer. Cook for 10 - 12 minutes if flattened out. Let them sit for a few minutes, then remove them to a rack to cool. Try not to eat all of the cookies in one sitting.