Julia’s Test Kitchen: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

For me (Julia), baking cookies is very relaxing. This is probably because I have a tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe that I am convinced can’t be messed up. Accidently adding an extra splash of vanilla or not quite enough salt only adds to their character, and they seem to be more delicious and to please more people every time I make them. Every once in a while, however, I like to bake with a bit more risk and a little more of a creative edge. So was the case a few nights ago when I made up a scrumptious recipe for chocolate peanut butter cookies. Working from my old standby recipe, I cut most everything in half (because the old recipe makes waaaaay too many cookies if they turn out bad) and added a few special (and healthy) touches.

The cookies turned out beautifully cakey, which I appreciate in a cookie at times, and definitely chocolaty and peanut buttery. I used natural, crunchy peanut butter, and it really added a lot to the texture as well as the taste of the cookie. If I made them again, I would definitely make them as thumbprint cookies with peanut butter Hershey’s kisses in the center, because this recipe lends itself perfectly to that kind of cookie. They are also incredible when frozen overnight and then crumbled atop vanilla ice cream with other toppings if you like. Enough hype – let’s get to the recipe!


½ stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)

4 tablespoons Smart Balance (butter substitute made with olive oil so it’s healthier than margarine or butter!)

½ cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

¼ cup natural crunchy peanut butter (you could use almond butter and almond Hershey kisses if peanuts are an allergy concern, and they would likely be just as divine)

1 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup + 2 tablespoons extra dark cocoa powder

powdered sugar for rolling cookies into balls

1 bag Hershey’s peanut butter kisses (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and Smart Balance Light with both sugars for 3-5 minutes with an electric mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until combined. Add the peanut butter and beat until mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda with a whisk until well-combined. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients a little at a time, mixing with an electric mixer to combine. Be careful not to over mix.

Dust your hands with powdered sugar to keep them from getting sticky, and roll heaping tablespoons of batter into little balls and flatten on the cookie sheet. Being on the cakier side of cookies, they will not flatten themselves in the oven, so this step is very important. Alternatively, make a thumbprint in the center of the ball and add a Hershey peanut butter kiss to the center. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Allow to cool for as long as you can keep Benjamin’s hands off of them, and serve with a glass of milk or crumbled frozen atop a vanilla ice cream sundae.

I do hope you will try this recipe (maybe with a few special touches of your own) and let me know how they turn out!

No comments: