I mean, now that Valentine's Day with its ooey-gooey chocolate goodness is gone, we don't have to give up on chocolate and get all excited about Irish Soda Bread just yet. St. Patrick's Day will be here soon, but meanwhile I was prowling the Internet and came across a long article with fully 30 recipes all about peanut butter.
Of course there were several recipes combining it with chocolate, but the recipes were so overdone that I found myself wondering who would make them, and why. We seem to be taking food television too seriously if we have to make recipes with twenty ingredients just to come up with a cupcake.
One of the simplest and most popular cookies you will ever make is simply to fold in a cup of chocolate chips into a recipe of peanut butter cookie dough. But it is also fun to reverse that--chocolate cookies with peanut butter inclusions, which is what we are about today.
One thing that was not mentioned in the article was peanut butter chips, which are available in addition to Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Minis, which are just what they sound like, a combination of chocolate and the famous Reese's formula. If the pieces are small enough you can bake them into cookies, as well as the little candies called Reese's Pieces, which look more like M&Ms and don't include chocolate.
I tend to buy baking ingredients in Tucson at the new Walmart next to Costco on Kino Parkway, because I usually find a huge selection of various kinds of chips there, along with interesting things in their baking department off the grocery section (not the household goods on the other side of the store).
So what would we do with these guys? Well, for starters, something that the editors of the article didn't think of. They did come up with a recipe for chocolate cookies that includes nuts and dried fruit--awful with chocolate, if you ask me--so I just got out a recipe and modified it in the spirit of the article, but simpler.
Now if you are going to serve these cookies as after-school snacks, they will melt away before you get the milk poured, they are that good. And for dessert with coffee, chocolate drop cookies may seem a little juvenile, but hey, they taste really good. Don't underestimate the familiar.
CHOCOLATE DROP COOKIES
3½ ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
½ cup butter at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups self-rising flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop the chocolate into and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on medium until melted (check after 30 seconds). Let it cool while you proceed with making the dough.
Cream the butter using an electric mixer. When the butter is soft, mix in the brown sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
Add the cooled chocolate and mix again.
Fold the flour into the chocolate mixture. Add in peanut butter chips, minis or Reese's Pieces if you are using one of them.
Prepare the baking sheet(s) with silicone mat(s) or parchment paper. Scoop the cookie batter onto the sheet(s), making sure to leave enough space so the cookies can spread when baking.
Bake for about 11 minutes or until done. They are done if the center of each cookie is dry and springs back if you touch it lightly.
If you want an extra-special deep chocolate taste in these cookies (or any other chocolate baked goods), add 2 teaspoons of espresso powder or freeze-dried espresso or coffee to the dough.