I met my husband to be when I was in college. He and his best friend were in the marching band and they and a couple of other band buddies were going around one night, offering to play for beer. They were across the street at a fraternity and a girl from our house yelled to them that we didn't have beer but we had Diet Dr. Pepper. Well, they wanted beer, and Diet Dr. Pepper is nasty stuff, but we were of the female persuasion, so they came and played for us. We met, sparks flew, and two years later we were married.
In the meantime, I got to know his best friend as well. I knew he loved racquet sports, had a wacky sense of humor, and liked strong women. I happened to have a good friend who was smart, strong, funny, and was looking for a racquet ball partner. So, of course I had to set them up. As with any blind date, it could have been an awkward nightmare, but they hit it off and they have now been married almost as long as we have. Sometimes you just know when it's a good match.
So what does this have to do with food? Well, one of my favorite pairings is chocolate and peanut butter. I adore each one individually, but put them together and I am in heaven! These cookies are extra wonderful because they have two kinds of chocolate paired up in a peanut butter cookie. The cookie has a sandy, moist texture, and the bittersweet chocolate ribbons through it, giving a wonderful taste and texture contrast. I adapted this recipe from Mrs. Fields Best Ever Cookie Book. I substituted 70% bittersweet chocolate for the semisweet chocolate called for. I could say it was because I wanted a more sophisticated tasting cookie, or, I could tell the truth - that I was out of semi-sweet chocolate. In any case, it ended up being delicious.
Double-Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz. (about 2 cups) milk chocolate chips
1- Arrange racks in oven to divide it into thirds. Preheat oven to 300 deg. F. In a double boiler, melt the semisweet chocolate over hot, not simmering, water. Set aside to cool to about room temperature.
2- In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
3- In a mixing bowl cream the butter and the peanut butter. Add the sugars and beat until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until just combined. Add the flour mixture and the milk chocolate chips, and beat until no streaks of flour are visible.
4- Pour the melted chocolate over the dough and drag a wooden spoon through. You want to just marbleize, not combine. Leave streaks of chocolate.
5- Drop the dough in 3-Tbsp mounds 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 23 minutes, or until just set but still soft. Rotate the baking sheets, top to bottom, halfway through cooking. Cool on the baking sheet for 30 seconds then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.