I don't know what it is, but sometimes I enjoy the things I bake more the next day. Maybe I spend so much time in the kitchen that by the time the cake/cookies/whatever comes out of the oven, I'm pretty much sick of them. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself and the food that I'm bound to be disappointed once I finally get around to taking a bite. Maybe, sometimes, foods just need to rest a bit in order for the flavors to really settle in. You know, like how soup is better if you make it the night before. Anyway, these cookies were definitely a better the next day kind of thing for me.
I made these classic goodies for a party and almost didn't bring them because I thought they were so boring, but the next day and the day after that . . . and the day after that, I couldn't stop shoving them in my mouth! I'd plan on eating one and end up chomping down five, one after another! This recipe made A LOT more cookies then I expected, so I brought the leftovers to work and they were quickly gobbled up. People actually came back for more, so they must have been fairly good, right? I know. This whole post is not exactly ending up as some huge ringing endorsement, but they're easy to make and they're tasty.
After writing this post, I came across Carolyn's review of these cookies on Food Gal and quickly realized that my big mistake was using chocolate chips instead of chopping the chocolate myself. I usually follow instructions, but I was short on time and I didn't think that it would make a huge difference. Apparently, the chopped chocolate transforms an ordinary cookie into something more like a peanut butter cup! So, there you go! I'm sorry Baked for not listening to you! It won't happen again! :-)
Recipe after the jump.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Makes 24 cookies
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 pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces good milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
Sift 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 butter and sugars together until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add vanilla and peanut butter and beat until just incorporated.
Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until incorporated.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in chocolate. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. With 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 tops of cookies with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time, until tops of cookies just begin to brown.
Remove pan from oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer individual cookies to the rack to cook completely (although they are also delicious warm).
The cookies can be stored, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.