Thursday, December 5, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cookies

As with most of my recipes I found this one online. I follow the Williams Sonoma "Taste Blog", which I would highly recommend if you're ever considering a dinner party, and this was their featured cookie of the day. Sean (and his whole family) love peanut butter. Anything peanut butter. And if you throw chocolate in there you get a gold star. So I knew these would be a great choice for some cookies to have out at one of our many get together's over the next few weeks.

It wasn't as easy as I was hoping for but nothing that ends up that great usually is. The hardest part for me was chocolate spreading - melted chocolate on cooled dough. I didn't get it quite right, which messes with the rolling if you have too much chocolate in there. The rolling up wasn't too bad, but I would suggest using waxed paper instead of parchment. The dough is quite soft and sticky. The only other things I had to change were adding a few more chocolate chips to the melt - about 1/4 cup more and they needed to be baked for about 2 minutes longer I found. But my mom made them in her convection oven and the 10 minutes was perfect. So here's the recipe (and a picture soon!) I hope you give these a try and impress your guests with them!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cookies
(Adapted slightly from Williams Sonoma)

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup good-quality unsweetened creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 (12-oz.) bag semisweet chocolate chips, plus some extra if needed

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat all but 1 tablespoon of the butter and the sugar on medium-high speed until creamed and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into the bowl, and stir into the peanut butter mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan or double boiler filled with about an inch of water, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with the chocolate chips over very low heat. Stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.

Divide the dough into 2 balls. Place 1 dough ball on a large piece of floured waxed paper. Flour the top of the dough, place another piece of parchment on top, and roll into a rectangle about 10 by 15 inches. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. Use the waxed paper to help you, and keep peeling it up and sprinkling it with flour if it gets too sticky. If you keep the dough floured, it will roll out more easily. When you spread the chocolate, brush off any excess flour, or the chocolate will be difficult to spread. Spread the rectangle with half of the chocolate mixture, leaving a 1-inch border on the long side closest to you. Starting from the long side farthest from you, and using the waxed paper to help, carefully roll the dough into a log. Place the log seam side down and wrap it in the waxed paper, twisting the ends to hold it tight. Repeat with the remaining dough and chocolate mixture.

Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours or ideally overnight.

Space 2 racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the logs, trim the ends of each log, then cut crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Space the cookies evenly on the prepared pans. They don't puff out too much, so you can probably get quite a few on the sheet. Aim for about a fingers worth of space between. You will need to bake in batches, so refrigerate the remaining portion of the logs until you are ready to cut and bake more cookies. Bake until the cookies are puffed and lightly golden, about 12 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

I made about 85 cookies.

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