Monday, August 15, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies for the Secret Recipe Club!

Psst! I have a secret! I recently joined the Secret Recipe Club! It's kind of like Secret Santa, but instead of buying a gift for the person who you are assigned to, you select a recipe from their blog to make and share on your blog. Every month you get to explore a new blog, and in return another blogger stalks you and makes one of your recipes :) This is the kind of club I can get behind.

This month my assignment was to make something from I Was Born to Cook, a fun adventure through the kitchen of an Italian/Greek girl named Melissa from New Jersey. She had a lot of enticing pasta recipes, but since I had many pasta recipes in my plans for the coming weeks, I decided to finally satisfy my chocolate chip cookie craving. Except I didn't make chocolate chip cookies. I made peanut butter cup cookies. Kind of a cross between peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies, they feature a basic cookie dough studded with chunks of mini peanut butter cups. I selected Reese's dark chocolate mini peanut butter cups, because I always prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate. To me it's more flavorful and less sweet. I also MAY have eaten a few of them during the tedious task of unwrapping and chopping the mini pb cups. I dare you to resist doing the same!

The only thing I changed (other than using dark chocolate peanut butter cups) is that I used light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar. It's what I had on hand, and to be honest I thought they turned out perfect. Just like any other cookie of its kind, it's important to only bake them until the edges are lightly browned. Even though the cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven, if you overbake them at this point, they will be like rocks once they cool. Mine still retained a nice chewy texture when they cooled. I also LOVE using my small ice cream scoop for portioning out perfect cookies. It is the best tool (along with parchment paper) for baking cookies. Using my scoop, I ended up with exactly 26 delicious cookies.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen
(Adapted from Real Simple via I Was Born to Cook)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (12 ounce) package small peanut butter cups (preferably dark chocolate), coarsely chopped (I quartered them)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.

Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter cups.

Drop tablespoon-size mounds of dough (use a small ice cream scoop) 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until light brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.


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