Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Peanut Butter Volcano Cookies

I was out of town for the weekend, causing a major lack of cooking and blogging.  I'm hoping that I am back on track now.  I wanted to get back to my roots and make a great cookie. 

A few years ago the hubby and I sold our townhouse in the city to move to the country. One of my tactics while showing the house was to bake a fresh batch of cookies just before the buyers arrived.  Leaving the house smelling great and a plate full of warm cookies for them to enjoy while they looked around.  The hubby thought I was silly for putting so much work into making batch after batch of cookies.  But finally after a few weeks of showing the house there was an intense bidding war and the house finally sold.  The last thing the buyers said after all the paper work was signed was, "By the way, you make awesome cookies and they helped us remember your house."  So once and a while I remind him how lucky his is to have a wife that bakes like me and that I am the only reason our house sold:)

I adapted the recipe from Fine Cooking and made a bunch of changes so instead of leaving a link I’ll write it out the way I made them.  The hubby also renamed them Peanut Butter Volcano Cookies.  Claiming that the tops look like the top of a volcano.  I thought it was cheesy but I went with it anyways.

I hope these cookies give me a second wind and I get back in the kitchen and cook for all of you!

Peanut Butter Volcano Cookies
Adapted from Fine Cooking, Double Dark Chocolate Thumbprints
For the cookies
·        1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
·        1/2 tsp table salt
·        1/2 tsp baking powder
·        1/4 tsp. baking soda
·        1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
·        1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
·        1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
·        3 large eggs
·        3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
·        3 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

For the chocolate filling
·        ½ cup peanut butter chips
·        4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Make the cookies

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment or non-stick baking liners or a silpat

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and the beater. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until blended after each addition, about 30 seconds, and adding the vanilla along with the last egg. Continue mixing on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and mix until just blended, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until well blended, about 1 minute.

Using 2 tablespoon measures or a 
mini ice cream scoop, drop tablespoons of dough about 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the cookies are puffed and the tops are cracked and look dry, 11 minutes. When the cookies are just out of the oven, use the rounded side of a half-teaspoon measure or the end of a thick-handled wooden spoon to make a small, deep well in the center of each cookie. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely
Make the filling

Melt the peanut butter chips and butter in the microwave or in a medium bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool and slightly thickened.
Fill the cookies

Spoon the chocolate mixture into the wells of the cooled cookies. Set aside until the chocolate firms up, about 1 hour. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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I would love to hear what you think about what you've read on my blog. Let me know if you plan on trying or have tried a recipe....ENJOY!