Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let It Snow, My Oven Is Warm


Sometimes people just don't get me. Am I that different? Is it that abnormal to plan your day around what you bake? Am I the only one who thinks, "It's cold and snowing. What can I bake to warm up the kitchen?" I may be abnormal, but that's the way I am and my family is OK with that.

My latest excuse to turn on the oven is another addition to my embarrassingly long list of peanut butter and chocolate combinations. When I saw these in the Cookies edition of Fine Cooking I knew they were going to be in top five of cookies baked from the magazine. Surprisingly easy to put together, they have a delicate texture and adult flavor that would fool any lucky recipient into thinking you put major effort into these cookies.

So, if you're buried in a snow drift and still have power, embrace the excuse and turn on the oven. So many cookies to bake, so little time!



Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sandwiches
- adapted from Cookies from Fine Cooking

for the cookies:
2-1/2 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
All-purpose flour for shaping

for the filling:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 lb (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces


1- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 deg. F. Line four cookies sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick liner.

2- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter, brown sugar, and baking soda on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on low speed until just blended, about 25 seconds.

3- Shape level Tbsp of the dough into 1-inch balls. Arrange the balls 1-1/2 inches apart on a prepared baking sheet.

4- Using a lightly floured glass or measuring cup, press down lightly on the balls. (I forgot this step and my cookies ended up with a crackly rather than smooth surface. Not much difference other than that, though.)

5- Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies are puffed and crackled but still moist looking, about 11 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a rack to cool about 10 minutes. Using a spatula, move the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

6- Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring in between till chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside and cool, stirring occasionally, until cool and slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes.

7- To assemble the sandwiches, turn half of the cooled cookies over so they're flat side up. Spoon 2 tsp of the chocolate filling onto the center of each cookie. Top with the remaining cookies, flat side down. Press gently on each cookie to spread the filling almost to the edge. Set on the rack until the filling is firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

28 comments:

Mimi said...

i had to laugh when i read that you made these cookies because i have been busy baking all day after being completely snowed in. Its one of my favorite things to do =) I did however realize that i do not have bittersweet chocolate so sadly i cannot finish the recipe.

VeggieGirl said...

If that's what it means to be abnormal, then I'm DEFINITELY right there with you, Lynn!! I say, let's keep being abnormal and keep baking tantalizing treats, such as those sandwich cookies (which feature a classic flavor combination)!!

Heather said...

yum! i love that you used bittersweet chocolate. these look delicious!

Bunny Trails said...

You are REALLY making it difficult to focus on my diet! Oh yum! In my mind (finally) abnormal = GOOD!

Maria said...

The warmer the kitchen the better! These look awesome!

Aimée said...

Thanks to you, Lynn, I won't need to get that magazine. Looks like you've just made the best recipe in it!

Jenn's Baking Chamber said...

YUM! those look divine! This recipe will be awesome for Christmas day! I can't wait to try them!

Big Swiss said...

Right with you on the "crank up the oven." Nothing says love like coming in from sledding, covered with snow and freezing, and having the kitchen be warm with the smell of yummy baked things.

Right there with you till you got to peanut butter, but you know that about me and put up with me anyway! We did shortbread and Italian Lemon Cordial (not something to bake, but very warming indeed).

Lien said...

You mean there are people that don't plan their daily business on what's cooking or baking???!! There really are weird people in the world!!!

Sarah said...

those look awesome! you can never have too many chocolate and peanut butter cookie combos!

SteamyKitchen said...

Thinkin' about coming for a visit SOON!

Will let you know if possible.
xoxo

Debbie said...

The cookies look great. I will use any excuse to turn on the oven and bake a great cake or batch of cookies!!!

Jodie said...

Ooh! I don't really like peanut butter cookies, but I've never had them sandwiching chocolate. I'll have to try them!

Bellini Valli said...

I have to add these to my long list of peanut butter recipes too:D

Melinda said...

Well, you are weird but I like you anyway.
Ha! You know we are cut from the same cloth.
Those cookies look good and warm my heart!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Chocolate and peanut butter have to be one of the best marriages ;)
What else would anybody want to do but turn on the oven and bake when it gets cold out! I thought that was normal.

JohannaB said...

It's going to be below 0 here on Sunday. Sounds like the perfect day to bake. I agree with Veggie Girl.

Elle said...

It's not snowing...does really cold count? Thse look wonderful! Bittersweet chocolate makes them for grown ups, right?

Sue said...

Yummy! found your blog through Tip Junkie!

Gretchen Noelle said...

These look delicious. I do have a chocolate peanut butter weakness!!!

CookiePie said...

MMMMMMM - peanut butter and chocolate! And in a pretty sandwich cookie, even better!

Eva said...

You definitely deserve your name, Lynn; your family has such a variety of cookies to choose from! I've just managed six different kinds for Christmas but two people probably shouldn't be eating more than that anyway..;-)

Katrina said...

With temps below zero with a nasty wind chill, I've been baking all day! Yum-my for pb/choc!

diannem said...

My oven is screaming to make these. Yummy. Thanks for having an easy chocolate sauce to make!

LyB said...

"Buried in snow", that pretty much describes my situation at the moment! lol! Don't worry, you're not the only one who thinks up things to bake to warm up the kitchen. When a snow storm hits, I get baking! :) I'm bookmarking those cookies for our next storm. ;)

Carrie said...

I often bake to warm up the apartment so you're not alone there! :) These look delicious; can't wait to try out the recipe! Thanks!

Peabody said...

We were buried in snowdrifts and had power! I am quite sure my husband would love for me to make these.

Bobbi Jones said...

I can't wait to try this recipe.. You can find great peanut butter cookie recipes like this one on this great website I recently found. This site must be new b/c I don't see people talkinga bout it. The website is...
www.acookierecipe.com