Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap & Peanut Butter Cookies w/Milk Chocolate Chunks
Christmas just isn't Christmas without cookies. Lots of cookies. So this year I decided to participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.
The premise is pretty basic: bake three dozen cookies, send them to three fellow food bloggers, receive three dozen cookies from three other food bloggers and then post your cookie recipe. As if oodles of homemade cookies weren't incentive enough, participants made donations to benefit Cookies for Kids' Cancer.
Signing up was the easy part. Deciding on a cookie recipe was a little harder. It occurred to me that I'd never mailed cookies before and there's a lot to consider. Cookies don't last very along around here so I've never had to think about longevity or how well a cookie will travel.
After scouring my cookbooks for a couple of weeks, I finally decided on Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks from Baked New Frontiers in Baking. I figured it's hard to go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate, right?
Mini chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's are one of best things on the planet and I had the bright idea to add them to my cookies. Fabulous idea while the cookie dough was raw but not so great in the baked cookies. The peanut butter cups melted into the batter which wasn't a bad thing, but I didn't get the super chunky cookie I was hoping for. Nonetheless, these are pretty darn fantastic and I hope that the ladies I sent them to enjoyed them. While we are talking about them, please take a minute and check out their blogs and say hi:
Vaikai ir Vanile
Main Line Feast
I also want to give a shout out to the bloggers that sent me some fabulous treats:
The Farm Girl Cooks - Warm, soft, chewy Molasses Spice Cookies.
Munching in the Mitten - Chocolate Chunkers with 4(!) types of chocolate
Sweet Tea and Sunshine - Strawberry Thyme Shortbread w/White Chocolate & Walnuts that were unusual and absolutely delicious!
What's your favorite Christmas cookie?
Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks
Baked New Frontiers in Baking, Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces good milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat until just incorporated.
Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate. cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, very gently press each cookie down so it forms a very tall disk shape. Do not press too hard and do not press it flat.
Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown.
Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. use a spatula to transfer the individual cookies to the rack to cool completely (although they are also delicious warm.)
The cookies can be stored, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.