We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cookie Recipe #12 - Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fusion

Today's cookie is a little more work because you are preparing 2 different kinds of cookies, but the result is well worth it. If you are a Reese's Peanut Butter lover, this will become your favorite cookie!

Ingredients: Peanut Butter recipe: 1 cup butter-flavored shortening, 1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 eggs, 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Ingredients: Chocolate cookie recipe: 1/2 stick butter, 2/3 cup shortening, 3 eggs, 2 cups granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1/3 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Add vanilla. Drop in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into creamed mixture and fully incorporate. Set aside. Next, prepare the chocolate cookie as follows:
In microwave, melt the butter and shortening together in a microwave-safe bowl;allow to cool slightly. In another large mixing bowl, beat eggs until light; add sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix well. Blend in butter/shortening mixture, then sift flour and cocoa over dough until fully incorporated. By hand, fold in chocolate chips.

Using a metal spoon, scrape out a small amount (1/2 teaspoonful)peanut butter mixture into floured hands, then scrape out same amount of chocolate. Roll these two together gently (will be sticky!) The peanut butter seems to be a little less sticky, so you could start with p.b., add a little chocolate, then add more p.b.-this process made it a little easier to roll.

Drop these rolls onto an ungreased baking sheet and top with 3 chocolate chips (if desired). Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 11 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on baking sheet a minute or two before transferring to cooling racks.

If you have leftover dough (one or the other) just bake whatever is left by itself. You will have either plain peanut butter or plain chocolate-both are good all by themselves.

This recipe makes about 9 dozen (1 dozen of these were plain chocolate). You could cut the recipe in half if this is too many cookies (can there ever be too many cookies?). Tip: To cut an egg in half, I either use just the yolk or just the white.

Cookies Rule!!!

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