(Peanut butter cookies with melty chocolate center - recipe in post)
In the past few months, The Step Dad's work has taken him across several states. Working so far from home has certainly not been a plus, but during his travels last week he found himself in Hudson, Kansas - home (apparently) of Hudson Cream Flour. Although I'd never heard of the stuff, he had and knew it to be considered a good brand. He called me up to ask if I wanted any, and I immediately jumped on the opportunity - I've been going through flour pretty quick these days, so I told him whatever he brought back would get used.
Little did I know he would bring back two of these twenty five pound bags:
Fifty pounds of flour? No problem. I've got plans.
In exchange for his offer to buy me the flour, I agreed to repay him in baked goods. This would be installment #1 of my debt.
I started off with what I know - he loves peanut butter. This, we share (which made it hard not to eat all the cookies before I could deliver them). Although I've made peanut butter cookies before - delicious and only 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies - I wanted to try something new, and of course with the use of flour. I wanted big, soft, classic peanut butter cookies.
But wait! That wouldn't be good enough. There had to be something else... something to make you weak in the knees when you bit into it... chocolate! Or caramel? I couldn't decide, so I made both.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Hidden Centers
(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
2.5 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt (if peanut butter is unsalted, double this amount)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup peanut butter (I used natural, creamy)
1 Cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 Cup sugar (I used just shy of this amount, to keep things from being too sweet)
2 large eggs
optional: 1 Cup chopped salted peanuts
Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or soft caramels
Extra sugar for coating the cookies.
Preheat oven to 350f. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Stir together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda/powder, salt), and set aside.
Using a hand or stand mixer, beat butter until smooth and lightened in color. Add peanut butter, and beat until combined, then with the mixer on low add both sugars. Beat for 2-3 minutes to combine thoroughly, then add eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing. Scrap down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Turn your mixer to low speed and add the dry ingredients, blending just until all the dry spots have disappeared. Mix in chopped nuts if using.
Pour some extra sugar into a small bowl for rolling, and get out the chocolate chips or caramels.
In the palm of your hand, form the dough into a ball. Press an indentation into the middle with your thumb, then fill with chocolate chips or caramel. Wrap the dough ball around the filling and roll between palms to seal any seems.
Roll ball in sugar, then place on your prepared baking sheet leaving 1-2 inches between each cookie. If the dough gets too soft to work with, refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before continuing.
Bake on middle rack for 10-12 minutes. The edges may darken slightly, but they should maintain a fairly light color and still be soft to the touch when done. Remove and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish setting up. If you can, try to wait for them to cool most of the way before digging in - trust me, they taste better and they burn less. Both good things.
Makes between 30-40 cookies, depending on size. Mine were pretty honkin' big, because if you've ever seen me try to fill something (tacos, burritos, sandwiches...) I'm damn near incapable of not over-filling. I just get so excited!
(Mmm, still warm inside!)
I made half with chocolate, and half with caramel, using up some of the leftover caramel sauce I made for This Stuff. The 'sauce' had thickened up in the fridge, so I thought it would work okay, but because the caramel liquefied so much during the baking it got absorbed by the cookie. Not a bad thing, it's just a little harder to see than the chocolate. A soft caramel candy, such as Werther's, or salted caramels, would have worked better.
(Top half cookie has chocolate, bottom half cookie has caramel)
Still, both were delicious, and perfect with a tall glass of milk. Firm with a bit of crunch on the outside, soft and full of tender on the inside. Somebody catch me, I'm feeling faint!
Me being allergic to peanut butter would probably be the equivalent of an athlete being paralyzed. It's an awful comparison to draw, but there you have it. It's an obsession. I put aside most of the batch to be delivered to the Step Dad, but needless to say, upwards of four of these cookies became my dinner.
What's your biggest addiction? Is it peanut butter, or something else? Let me know in the comments!