Chocolate Peanut Bit Cookies
I wasn’t really sure what to call these. Chopped chocolate cookies sounds like the cookies met a terrible accident somewhere along the way. Then again, they ran into me…
It was the usual: I didn’t have any chocolate chips. (The store is just across the road, you say? You underestimate my laziness.) So I used bittersweet chocolate that I chopped, instead. I had run across a recipe that suggested that this would make nicer chocolate chip cookies anyway, and wanted to try it out. Just to confuse everything I used chunky peanut butter in place of half the butter. I also didn’t have any walnuts at hand – so I thought peanut butter with peanut bits might make a nice substitute (Since it was peanut butter and bits, I increased the amount to ¾ cup). I had no light brown sugar, I used half dark brown and half white sugar in its place.
The first time they came out a little sweet. And a little salty. I forgot that peanut butter isn’t just peanuts, it had salt too. The second time I left that out. The second time I also had no bittersweet chocolate, so I used unsweetened instead. I thought it might be terrible, but it worked out pretty well. Since most of the chocolate bits were pretty small, the bitterness wasn’t overwhelming and the sweetness of the cookie worked well with it. They are not something you nibble a plate of absent-mindedly, a cookie or two will do, the bitter-sweet combination sees to that. They didn’t taste particularly chocolatey though. Maybe a better bar of 99% chocolate would help with this, something one would eat on its own. Or I just need to chop the chocolate bits even smaller when using unsweetened. Once the cookies cooled the chocolate bits and the peanuts were also quite crunchy, which was nice in the chewiness of the cookie.
I might make these again sometime. With the unsweetened chocolate and the peanut butter, they weren’t really “chocolate chip cookies”, but they do have some appeal. With bittersweet chocolate bits, they were sweeter and more familiar. Of course if you don't believe peanut butter belongs in a chocolate chip cookie, it's still terribly off for you, but you could try out the original recipe and see what you think without it.
So here is the recipe, adapted from here:
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking soda
½ cup butter at room temperature
¾ cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
8 ounces chocolate (whatever type you like), chopped into small-ish bits
In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until it is smooth, then add the peanut butter until the two are combined. At this point add in the sugars until they are blended. Add the eggs, beat until they are mixed in well, then add the flour mixture gently until it is just combined. Then mix in the chocolate with a spatula or carefully with your favorite beating device.
Put spoonfuls of dough on your baking sheets, leaving some room for the cookies to spread.
Bake the cookies in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms look brown. If your oven bakes unevenly (mine does!) rotate the sheets around after about half the time. When you take them out, let them cool for a minute (they are pretty squishy right out of the oven, if you tried to move them immediately you might wind up with cookie-chocolate goo everywhere. At least, I would.).Then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
If you used baking parchment to line your cookie sheets, let the sheets cool and go for the next batch. If you didn’t, you might want to rinse the sheets off in between. Sugar residue and chocolate bits from previous batches seem to like sticking to the new cookies. This is less than fun when you try to remove the cookies later... burnt chocolate isn’t particularly delicious either. Cookies and tea are though.