It's all cookies all the time in December - this is without a doubt the time of year that I go through the most butter! I think I have about 8 pounds in my freezer right now, and that probably won't be enough to get me through this month. The blogs are full of cookie recipes, and they're on the cover of every food magazine out there, so there's no shortage of options to choose from. That said, if you're planning your holiday baking and have a chocolate and peanut butter lover in your life, I think this cookie should make the cut. It is decadent and rich, and oh so delicious. It may look like just a chocolate cookie studded with chopped peanut butter cups, but there's more to it than that! In addition to the cocoa powder in the cookies, there's also peanut butter, so you're getting a double dose of that chocolate/peanut butter combo in the cookies and the peanut butter cups. My favorite thing about baking with these flavors is that Shane loves them, so the treats don't sit around as long and I don't have to work so hard to resist them. I won't even tell you how quickly these disappeared in our house, but suffice it to say they're a new favorite. I think we're going to need a massive cookie detox program come January 1 :)
Oh, and don't worry, your peanut butter cups will look less smooshed and mangled than mine. I actually made these a month ago during an unseasonably warm period, and stacked the cookies overnight. When I went to take pictures the next day the peanut butter cups were partially melted and stuck to the cookies sitting on top of them... Oops :)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
from Annie's Eats (who adapted from King Arthur Flour)
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk (I used 1%)
2 cups coarsely chopped peanut butter cups, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl (I always sift my cocoa powder, whisking sometimes leaves lumps). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, peanut butter and both sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and milk, beating to incorporate. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups of the peanut butter cups with a rubber spatula.
Divide the dough into roughly 3 tablespoon balls, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them. Gently press down on the balls slightly to flatten them, then press a few of the reserved pieces of peanut butter cups into the tops of the cookies. Bake for 12-14 minutes (rotating the pans if necessary), or until the edges of the cookies are set (the tops may be soft, they'll set as they cool.) Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes before removing them to the racks to cool completely.
Makes about 16 large cookies