This weekend we're having a baby shower for one of my oldest and dearest friends. I'd offered to bring any kind of food she wanted and the report back was "cookies!" I think I became famous for my cookies last summer when I made a batch of bakery style chocolate chip cookies for a little get-together with my friends. Ever since then, I always get asked if I'm bringing cookies when I'm coming to visit :-)
In addition to the favorite chocolate chip cookies, I wanted to try to do a chocolate and peanut butter cookie, since I know my friend (who is having the baby) loves that combination. I searched around and tried a couple of recipes and I think I've found "the one." It's a modification of a King Arthur Flour recipe that they call "Magic Middles." My version is richer in both the chocolate and PB flavors (in my opinion). I'm calling them "Peanut Butter Surprise" cookies in part because my friend doesn't know I'm bringing these and in part because when you first look at the cookie, you think it's just a chocolate cookie, but take a bite and you'll get a special surprise!
(Corny, I know, but you have to admit it's also kind of sweet.)
I've come to think of these kind of as peanut butter cups for grown-ups. I don't know about you, but the candy peanut butter cups are way too sweet (and fake-tasting) for me. But these cookies hit just the right note.
Peanut Butter Surprise
(Makes 2 1/2 dozen)
Chocolate cookie ingredients:
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. white sugar (plus extra for rolling cookies in before baking)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. salted butter
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
PB filling ingredients
3/4 c. all natural (no sugar added) peanut butter
1 c. confectioner's sugar
(Note: If you use regular peanut butter, cut the confectioner's sugar to 3/4 or even 1/2 c., depending on how sweet your PB is. I find the natural peanut butter gives a truer peanutty flavor and allows you to control the sweetness better.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, beat together peanut butter and confectioner's sugar until it holds together. Roll into 30 evenly sized balls (about a teaspoon of filling each) and refrigerate.
In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, heat butter for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until it starts to melt. Add chocolate chips and microwave another 30 seconds. Stir chips and butter until chips are fully melted. (If needed, you can put them back in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time, stirring in between, just until the chips melt. Don't overdo it!)
Add 1/2 c. white sugar and 1/2 c. brown sugar to butter/chocolate mixture and beat until well blended. Beat in vanilla, egg and egg yolk until creamy.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. Beat into the butter/sugar mixture.
The cookie dough will be very thick at this point, but it should hold together. If it's crumbly, beat in a teaspoon or two of milk to get it to hold together.
Remove the PB balls from the fridge.
Scoop out 1 Tablespoon of chocolate cookie dough and shape into a disk with your fingers.
Put a PB ball in the center and pinch the cookie dough around it, then roll the ball in your hands to seal it around the PB filling.
Roll the ball in sugar and place onto prepared cookie sheet.
Lightly oil the bottom of a drinking glass and press each ball down until it's about 1" across and 1/2" high.
Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes, just until cookies start to crackle around the edges.
Cool completely before serving.