Sunday, September 30, 2012

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies

You guys...I made an awesome discovery today. I may never look at chocolate chip cookies the same again - they are now exclusively a vehicle for peanut butter. See, I have a little bit of a chocolate/peanut butter problem, and I am not ashamed. For example, one of my friends in college introduced me to the amazing combination of chocolate pudding and peanut butter. Seriously, we would sit there with a container of pudding and a container of peanut butter and scoop them onto the same spoon, and it was incredible. These cookies are just another representation of that beautiful marriage between these two ingredients!

Now, I totally cheated and used cookie dough that was pre-made from Berkeley Bowl, our local grocery store. It's from a local, organic-focused store so it's ok, right? That's not to say I never make cookies from scratch; I have the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie memorized. Anyway, you can use pre-made dough too or make it yourself using this recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

2 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I always use 2 teaspoons though)
2 eggs
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
*The original recipe calls for nuts but I really don't like them interfering with the purity of my cookie dough. If you want to, you can use 1 cup chopped walnuts.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl or using a mixer, beat the butter, both types of sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs and beat until they are well incorporated. Slowly add in the flour mixture and stir until combined, then add in the chocolate chips and nuts if you're using them.

Ok, now that you have your cookie dough ready, you should probably sample a bite to make sure it tastes good (duh). Now for the fun part! Scoop out about 3 tablespoons of dough -you can estimate on that, basically just a huge scoop. Then flatten out the dough using the palm of your hand so it's about 1/2 inch thick, and mold it into kind of an oval shape, like the picture below.

Dollop a hefty scoop of peanut butter onto one half of the oval. I used salted natural peanut butter and it worked great, though you could use whatever you have on hand.

Then fold over the un-peanut buttered half to form a ball and seal the edges off so no peanut butter escapes. Repeat using the rest of the dough.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 6-8 minutes or until just brown on top - my philosophy on cookies is that they should be just barely cooked in the middle and a little crisp on the outside.

These are soooo good, especially right out of the oven.

See that little pocket of peanut butter in the middle?!

This was just too funny not to share - Gabe was working from home earlier in the week and competing for couch space with Poppy. I think it's pretty clear who won that battle...look at that smug look on her face!

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