I made you cookies! Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies to be exact. Think peanut butter blossoms, but dare I say BETTER.
I know that some of you are already familiar with these cookies and all their versions (like the ones with the PB cups), but to me these were a novelty just years ago. Slovene cookies don’t really include peanut butter. Even peanut butter alone, while widely popular now, wasn’t a thing when I was a kid. I’m a member of the Nutella generation, if we want to talk in terms of spreads.
But the first time I made peanut butter blossoms I feel in love. Peanut butter and chocolate just love each other. Put them in cookie form and you have a hit. And because I’m convinced there are still some of you that aren’t familiar with the recipe, I am sharing my version today. I need you to make these, you won’t be sorry.
So, dark chocolate peanut butter cookies are exactly what they sound like. We have a tender peanut butter cookie, with a thin outer crust and a soft middle and it honestly tastes like a peanutty dream. On top of it lies a slightly softened dark chocolate piece, the perfect contrast to the sweet cookie.
My recipe is adapted from the Pillsbury one. The one that won a contest back in 1957 and was submitted by Freda Smith of Ohio. Ohio, of all places! You know quite a lot of Slovenes have emigrated there over decades. (Here’s a short Wiki article in case you’re interested.)
But really, how amazing is it that we can use recipes that are (at least) 60 years old? I feel honoured, truly. However, I’ve made some minor changes. The original uses shortening, which I substitute for real butter. It’s also made with classic milk Hershey kisses, which are available in Slovenia (although not that easy to find at times), but I find that dark chocolate does so much more for this cookie. Hershey chocolate is really sweet, which is fine if you like that, but I think the dark really amplifies the overall flavor. It just produces a more lively cookie.
Another awesome thing about these dark chocolate peanut butter cookies? They’re easy to make and I haven’t met one person that doesn’t like them. Which makes them perfect for the holidays.
Full confession: I am totally making these again this weekend. And the weekend after that. And after that. Basically until I get sick of them, have a break over the summer and then get back into the groove next holiday season. Because that’s what we all do, right?
- 230g (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 115g (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 130g (1/2 cup) smooth peanut butter (the regular, sweet stuff)
- 110g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 100g (1/2 cup) Demerara or light brown sugar
- 15ml (1 TBSP) milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- about 110g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar for rolling the cookies
- 140g (5 oz) dark or bittersweet (50-70%) chocolate, broken into pieces (you need 30 equal pieces)
- Sift flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together both butters and sugars. Whisk in milk, vanilla extract and egg. Gradually add flour, in 2-3 additions, and whisk until the dough comes together. It should be smooth and soft.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 30-60 minutes or even overnight.
- Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Roll dough into 2.5-cm (1-inch) balls. Roll each in sugar and place on baking sheet about 5-cm (2 inches) apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown (can be slightly cracked). Remove cookies from oven and top each with a chocolate piece. Press down so the cookie around cracks some more and the chocolate is nicely nested in the middle.
- Let cookies cool completely - this will harden the melted chocolate. Store covered at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.