I know, I know. Enough with the cookies already. It’s no secret to any of you that I’ve been a regular cookie-baking machine since Halloween rolled around (as evidenced here and here). But seriously, these are A-mazing (yes that capital A is intentional. Holla!) and so worth a trip to the store for a gallon of milk to wash them down. Four words: Chocolate. Peanut butter. Salt. You’re swooning now, right?
I started following @food52 on Twitter a few days ago (food52.com is a consortium of recipes from a community of home cooks, founded by New York Times Essential Cookbook author Amanda Hesser and fellow food writer Merrill Stubbs), and the next morning they sent me the standard thank-you-for-following-me direct message. But alas! This message came with a sweet reward. A cookie recipe! Woo to the hoo! I’d say I tried to resist the temptation to try it out — but who am I kidding? Those cookies were as good as baked the minute I opened the message.
I’m pretty sure the sending of the cookie recipe was a serendipitous act, actually. Jared, the totes groovy husband that he is, gave me a shiny new Silpat and the Cadillac of cookie sheets for Christmas (Jared’s super sleuthing found that such a cookie sheet does, in fact, exist: the Vollrath. Yes, yes, it does sound like a super villain.). So the food52 cookie recipe gave me the perfect reason to take my new toys for a test drive.
Here’s the Silpat, or Pat if you’re close amigos. Pat nearly eliminates my need for parchment paper, which makes me feel far less wasteful for tossing sheet after sheet in the ol’ trashcan after another round of cookies. Pat is resting comfortably on Vollrath No. 1, just waiting for some cookie action.
And here’s the line of salted peanut butter cookies anxiously awaiting their turn on the Silpat. (Note: I didn’t bake these cookies this close together; this was merely the holding station so I could do all my cookie scooping at once. Baking the cookies this close together would have made for a large puddle of salted double chocolate peanut butter cookie mush. Tasty, yes. Pretty? Not so much.)
For anyone who’s a fan of the classic peanut butter and chocolate combo, these cookies are a must try. But I really think the appeal spans far beyond Reese’s connoisseurs. It’s like everything you love about peanut butter cookies and brownies all rolled into one. And the zing of salt is the perfect addition to keep the sweetness in check and bring out all the flavor.
Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
(Adapted from food52.com recipe contributed by Food Blogga)
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup butter (one stick), room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 3 teaspoons vanilla (food52 used 2, but you know me and vanilla)
• 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter (The original recipe says not to use all-natural because of the consistency, but I used the all-natural stuff, and the cookies were just fine.)
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used the mini guys.)
• (optional) 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (I say optional because I’m not a big fan of peanuts in cookies, so I left them out of our batch.)
• kosher or sea salt for sprinkling on top of cookies (I used kosher because I had it on hand.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
In a standing mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Then beat in peanut butter until just combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips (and peanuts, if using).
Drop in heaping tablespoons (behold the power of the cookie scoop!) a few inches apart on a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit of salt, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until edges are firm but center is still a bit soft. Transfer to wire rack, and cool completely.
I’d say that it was successful cookie night on all fronts. The cookies turned out amazingly fluffy, which I’m crediting to the Silpat-and-Vollrath combo. And the taste was crazy good (all credit to the recipe for that). Oh, one word of caution to any future Vollrath users out there: The cookie sheets are super heavy, which is great, but that also means they retain heat like mad. So your cookies need to come off the sheets ASAP once removed from the oven because they’ll keep baking on that super hot surface.
So what do you think? Does the salt, peanut butter and chocolate combo sound like something you’d like to try? Or is there another flavor combination that makes you weak in the knees? Do tell!