April 9, 2013

Peanut Butter Cookie Time

I made these go-getters for a get-together at a friends house last weekend and along with a large bottle of white zinfendal (re: juice,) I was ready for an exciting night of trivia. My two friends worked hard together to create a gameboard of quirky questions and mismatched answers. Example #1: Maggots or Moving. Q: Is Lil' Wayne dead? A. No, he's moving! Example #2: Jimmy vs. Drizzy. A quote was read and we had to figure out if it was a line from one of Drake's song or a line from his Degrassi character. And so on...
But this post isn't about the awesomeness of Trivia Night, oh no, it's about the awesomeness of these cookies. I used the below recipe from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook and while there were many different delicious options to choose from, I couldn't resist the combo of peanut butter, chocolate, and a pinch of sea salt. These don't look anywhere near what the final product in the cookbook pictures look like (hers are square, petitie, and cute with ridged edges, mine have a shape that can't be described) and I'll probably use a lot less butter next time. While my mom and I thought they were good, my dad, who will eat anything, spit them out in his hand, shook his head, and tossed them in the nearest garbage can. BUT my friends ate them, seemed to like them, and after all, isn't that what counts the most? Anyway, I trust my mom's opinion more-so than my dad's and ultimately I'm proud of my edible mini kitchen accomplishment. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
Makes 40 sandwich cookies, each with two 1 1/3 inch cookies

8 tablespoons (1 stick) of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup of smooth peanut butter at room temperature
½ cup of granulated sugar
½ cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 cups of all-purpose flower
¼ teaspoon of baking soda
¼ teaspoon of fine or flaky sea salt
8 ounces of semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Pinch of sea salt
For the cookies:
In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy, then add the peanut butter and beat until smoothly combined. Add the sugars and beat until combined. Add the egg and beat until the batter is smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to peanut butter mixture and mix at a low speed  until just combined. The dough will be thick and a bit crumbly. Divide the dough into two parts, placing each on a piece of plastic wrap. Form each dough half into a 1 ¼-to-1 ½- inch log   that should be about 12 inches long.  Wrap each log and freeze for 30 minutes until firm. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice each log of frozen cookie dough into just shy of ¼-inch slices. Hold the end of the log gently with two fingers as you slice the cookie because they are prone to breaking. Transfer the formed cookies to prepared baking sheets with a thin spatula and bake for 10-12 minutes. They should be a little puffed and faintly golden at the edges when they are finished. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks and cool completely before filling.

For the filling:
In a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, butter, and a pinch of sea salt, whisking together until they are melted and smooth. Let the mixture cool until it is thick but spreadable.

Dollop half the cookies with about 1 teaspoon of chocolate peanut butter filling each. You can do this with a butter knife, a pastry bag, or a Ziplock sandwich bag with the corner snipped off. Place a second cookie over the chocolate mixture, and press the cookies gently together so that the filling approaches the edges. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Let the cookies set until the chocolate is mostly firm.

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