December 4, 2012

12 Days of Cookies: Day the Fourth
( Double Chocolate-Double Peanut Butter Cookies)

Do you ever look at a picture of food you've just taken and think "Ooooooh, sexy!"?  No?  Just me?  Okay then.

Sexiness is important when you're talking about a cookie box.  But we can call it "elegance" or "impressiveness" if that makes you feel less squeamish.  The point is, when you're making cookies as a gift, they should be impressive.  Chips Ahoy are fine when you just want an easy sugar fix.  But they'd make a crap gift.  If this is something special you're doing for someone else, you should be going for the wow.  Things should be colorfully iced.  Or covered in jimmies.  Or delicately layered or dipped in two kinds of chocolate or rolled like adorable little snails.

But then there's this: if you're making 20 kinds of cookies, they can't all be cut-outs with a six-step icing procedure.  Not unless you're planning on starting your Christmas baking on New Year's Day.  Sometimes, instead of the visual impact, it's okay to go for the taste impact.  Play to your loved ones' childhood nostalgia and give 'em a chocolate-chip variant.  If they're as good as these, no one's going to miss the royal icing - and it'll leave you a little extra time to mold dozens of flaky little tassie shells for the next recipe.

These sexy little beasts (er...impressive little beasts) are like dark, chewy little brownies filled with enormous dark chips (I like Ghirardelli because they're bigger than standard chips).  It's almost like drowning in chocolate.  A dark, rich, slightly bitter death slowly taking over all your senses...and then you hit a peanut butter chip.  And it's like a sweet reprieve you didn't even realize you needed.  Make a batch.  Make three batches.  That's the beauty of an easy cookie.  You've always got time to make extras for the baker.

Double Chocolate Double Peanut Butter Cookies
by Valerie
from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine
Flour  [ 1 1/2 cups ]
Unsweetened Cocoa  [ 1/2 cup ]
Baking Soda  [ 3/4 teaspoon ]
Salt  [ 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ]
Unsalted Butter  [ 1/2 cup, softened ]
Creamy Peanut Butter  [ 1/2 cup ]
Sugar  [ 1 cup ]
Dark Brown Sugar  [ tightly packed, 1 cup ]
Eggs  [ 2, at room temperature ]
Vanilla Extract  [ 1 teaspoon ]
Dark Chocolate Chips  [ 10 ounces ]
Peanut Butter Chips  [ 3/4 cup ]

1.   Sift together Flour and Cocoa.
2.   Whisk in Baking Soda and Salt.
3.   In a mixer on Medium-High speed, beat Butter, Peanut Butter, Sugar and Dark Brown Sugar for 3
         to 5 minutes, until smooth and fully combined.
4.   Add Eggs, one at a time, beating mixture for 1 minute between additions.
5.   Add Vanilla and beat 2 minutes.
6.   Lower mixer to Low speed and add Flour Mixture; beat just until combined.
7.   With a wooden spoon, mix in Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter Chips.
8.   Cover Dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.

9.   Heat oven to 350 degrees.
10.   Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
11.   Roll rounded tablespoons of Dough into balls and place on prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch
           between balls.
12.   Bake 8-10 minutes, or just until edges look set.  Middles will still look wet, but will set up while cookies
13.   Leave cookies on cookie sheet for 10 minutes; then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes about 35 Cookies.

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