This recipe may be a couple of days late, but luckily, it’s not a particularly Valentine-y dessert. It’s not heart-shape, extra-fancy or filled with raspberry ganache (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Though it’s not pulled from the pages of the February issue of a food magazine, it was the perfect Valentine for my husband because it combines his two favorite things: peanut butter and chocolate.
I decided to combine his two great loves into one fabulous cookie because my mom sent us these adorable mini peanut butter cups she saw in Trader Joe’s. If you live in a community that has its very own Trader Joe’s, I am deeply jealous of you. We don’t have them in Florida, so mom sent these versatile little cuties all the way from Southern California. I thought they would be a great substitute for chocolate chips in a cookie. After extensive chocolate cookie research, I decided to use this recipe from allrecipes.com because it was incredibly simple; promised fudgy, chewy cookies; and got loads of great reviews from members.
These cookies are addictively, wonderfully chocolatey with slightly crisp edges and chewy centers. The chocolate part of the mini peanut butter cups fuses into the cookie, and the centers turn into melting pockets of peanut butter goodness. You do not need mini peanut butter cups to use this fantastically simple cookie recipe. Use chocolate chunks, peanut butter chips, nuts, chocolate-covered espresso beans, or whatever you want!
Mike really liked the cookies, but I’ve eaten plenty of them too. When you give a gift of food, whether it is something homemade or dinner at a favorite restaurant, it’s kind of like giving yourself a little gift at the same time. We foodies really have this love stuff figured out.
Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted from allrecipes.com. It is important that you use natural cocoa powder in recipes with baking soda, like this one. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is made with an alkali that only reacts properly with baking powder. Dutch-processed is not better or worse cocoa, just different. Read more about it here.
Makes 36-48 cookies
2 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. unsweetened natural cocoa powder (such as Ghirardelli or Hershey’s)
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 to 2 ½ c. mini peanut butter cups, peanut butter chips or semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combined and fluffy.
Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture with a wooden spoon until all the flour is moistened. Stir in the chips or your additions of choice.
Drop heaping teaspoons of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should get about 12 cookies per large baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until just set. The cookies may look slightly under done, but they will firm up and the edges will crisp as they cool. I like to do a test by baking 2 or 3 cookies first to see how they will turn out in my oven. It takes extra time, but I hate to ruin a whole tray of cookies. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.