Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

I waited a little while before posting this recipe because I couldn’t really think of a good story to go with it. I know, I’m sorry. I should’ve just posted this weeks ago. Because the whole time I hemmed and hawed, you were missing out. Here it is: peanut butter stuffed chocolate cookies.

Yep, you read that right. You whip up a batch of soft, chocolatey dough, flatten it out into rounds, and then wrap each piece of dough around a gooey ball of peanut butter. Dip it into sugar for some sparkle and crunch, and gently press it down on a cookie sheet. And when it comes out of the oven– wait, wait, it has to set for just a minute or two– you get to bite into a tender chocolate cookie that oozes with warm peanut butter.

Like I said, I’m sorry. Turns out there was no story needed.

Peanut butter stuffed chocolate cookies

Peanut butter stuffed chocolate cookies

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Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Filling

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Cookies

  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus additional for rolling
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375° and line two cookies sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

To make the filling: Cream peanut butter and powdered sugar together until well combined. Place the filling in the refrigerator to chill until needed.

To make the cookies: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar, brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed until completely incorporated. Add baking soda and mix for a few seconds until combined. Stir in the flour and cocoa and mix on low speed until the dough comes together. (If it’s really crumbly, you can add a teaspoon or two of milk to help it clump together.)

Turn the dough out onto a large cutting board and roll it into a large log of even thickness. Slice the dough into 20 equal pieces. Remove the peanut butter filling from the refrigerator and divide it into 20 pieces, each one slightly larger than a teaspoon. Roll each portion of the peanut butter filling into a ball.

To shape the cookies, take one piece of chocolate dough and flatten it between your palms into a circle about 3-4 inches wide. Place a piece of the peanut butter filling in the center of the circle, and wrap the sides of the dough up around the filling, pinching them together to form a ball. Dip the top side of the cookie in granulated sugar and place the cookie, sugared side up, on a cookie sheet. Press down with your hand to flatten it out slightly. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are slightly cracked and the cookies are set. Let cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 20 cookies.

Source: Slightly adapted from The Baker Upstairs via I Heart Nap Time.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Peanut butter. Chocolate. Math. Add them together and you get one killer dessert.

Gabe’s youngest brother visited us this weekend and picked a chocolate peanut butter tart as his dessert of choice. But before I could make it, I had to play with ratios.

As many of you know, lactose-free half-and-half is one of my favorite ingredients in the whole world, since it lets me make ice cream and other sweet treats for Gabe. But so far there’s no such thing as lactose-free heavy cream, so I have to modify recipes that call for cream. Generally a one-to-one substitution is not a problem, but the difference in fat content can affect the consistency of things like chocolate ganache.

And since ganache plays a starring role in this dessert, some experimentation was necessary. (I sacrificed myself to science and ate a lot of chocolate.) In the end, the winning ratio of chocolate to milk product was 2:1 instead of the original recipe’s ratio of approximately 1:1. You can certainly use the original amounts of 5 oz. chocolate and 3/4 cup heavy cream, but I’m happy to report that my way worked just as well.

And to continue this math and science-laden post, I made a couple of diagrams to demonstrate how to make pretty peanut butter swirls on top of the tart. Just to prove my liberal arts education comes in handy. Check them out at the bottom of this post. :)

Chocolate peanut butter tart

Chocolate peanut butter tart

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Crust

  • 1/3 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 8 Tbs. butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. half-and-half

Filling

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
  • 8 oz. dark chocolate (about 60% cocoa)*
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

Make the pie crust: In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa and flour. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and salt, and beat until well combined. With mixer on low, add half the flour mixture, then all the half-and-half, and then the rest of the flour mixture until well combined. The dough will be very soft.

Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap, flatten into a rectangle shape, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Once dough is firm, place it on a heavily floured work surface and roll into a 7 by 16-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to a 4 1/2 by 14- inch rectangular tart pan and lightly push it down into the bottom of the pan. Trim off any excess dough around the edges and prick the bottom lightly with a fork. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper in the tart pan on top of the dough, and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Place the tart pan on a jelly-roll pan for easier handling and bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are set. Remove foil and beans and bake for another 10 minutes. Let crust cool completely in the tart pan on a wire rack.

Prepare filling: Melt 1/2 cup peanut butter in a small bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Pour peanut butter into the cooled pie crust and freeze for 20 minutes or until set.

Once the peanut butter is set, roughly chop chocolate and place in a medium bowl. Microwave half-and-half just until it comes to a boil, about 30 seconds. Pour over chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter in microwave and transfer to a small plastic bag. Snip a tiny triangle off the corner so you can use the bag to pipe the peanut butter.

Whisk chocolate and half-and-half until smooth. Pour over peanut butter in the tart pan and lightly smooth with a spatula. Squeeze the peanut butter in the plastic bag and pipe it diagonally across the ganache. Lightly run a toothpick or skewer through the peanut butter in the opposite direction, perpendicular to the piping of the peanut butter. (See diagrams below.)

Let tart chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 8. Slice diagonally into wedges and serve.

Serves 10.

Source: Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart via Annie’s Eats.

* I’m happy to say I’ve made this with milk chocolate too, and it’s deeeelicious. Tastes like a fancy Reese’s peanut butter cup!

pipe peanut butter on tart

Pipe peanut butter diagonally across tart

run toothpick through peanut butter

Lightly run a toothpick through the peanut butter, perpendicular to the original piping

Peanut Butter Granola

Despite the plethora of ice cream recipes on this blog, I’m more of a salty person than a sweet person. Not personality-wise, but taste-wise. (Ahem.) So when I saw a recipe for peanut butter granola in The New Midwestern TableI pasted a sticky note on the page immediately. This girl likes her breakfasts savory.

This granola certainly delivers a salty/savory breakfast punch. You can stir in dried fruit right after it comes out of the oven for a bit of sweetness, or leave it as-is. You could even douse it in chocolate syrup. (I’m kidding. This is breakfast.) But if you love peanut butter and/or reliving your hippie days, try this granola stat!

P.S. Styling this picture made me feel like I worked for General Mills. Don’t you pour your milk in a tiny pitcher every morning? Part of a balanced breakfast! :)

Peanut butter granola

Peanut Butter Granola

  • 8 Tbs. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 cups uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or foil and set aside.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until the foam turns amber in color. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, honey, water, salt, and cinnamon until smooth. Stir in oats, wheat germ, coconut, and peanuts.

Spread granola onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven, and stir. Return to oven and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Source: Adapted from The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Do you have something for your sweetheart? If cooking and baking is your secret Valentine’s weapon, please drop everything and make these truffles right now. Peanut butter, chocolate, and pretzels, the perfect combo of salty and sweet. Oh yes.

These truffles are sure to please all the loves in your life: kids, friends, partner, mailman, golden retriever with a stomach of steel. I’m kidding, please don’t give your pets chocolate. Anyway, making these truffles is almost as easy as picking up a heart-shaped box of chocolates at your local drug store, but you’ll get the warm glow that comes with saying, “Look! I made you something!” Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some chocolate to eat.

Peanut butter pretzel truffles

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate

Stir together peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter until creamy and well combined. (You can use a mixer, but it’s not necessary.) Add pretzels and stir until they are completely incorporated into the peanut butter mixture. Using a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop (or your hands), scoop the mixture into about 3 dozen evenly sized balls. Place on parchment lined cookie sheets and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Chop the chocolate and carefully melt it in the microwave or over a double boiler. Remove the truffles from the freezer and carefully dip each truffle in the chocolate until completely covered. (I generally use a fork to dip the truffles.) Gently shake off excess chocolate and place each truffle back on the cookie sheet. Let cool until fully set.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Source: Annie’s Eats.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

How the heck have I not made this before? I mean, really, searching the “frozen treats” section of this blog is kind of embarrassing. Ice cream flavors alone include chocolate, strawberry, Mississippi mud, coffee, cake batter, pumpkin, vanilla-chocolate swirl, seven layer bar, cookie dough, oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, and cookies ‘n’ cream. And then there’s fro-yo, sorbets, popsicles, and granitas.

And yet, I had never made straight-up peanut butter ice cream. Something was clearly wrong.

Despite the plethora of frozen treats on this blog, Gabe and I don’t actually eat sweets very often. So in order to make room for my ice cream maker in the freezer, I had to rearrange 3 lbs. of butternut squash ravioli, 2 lbs. of frozen pulled pork, a loaf of bread, a half dozen whole wheat muffins, and seven different kinds of frozen vegetables. The veggies showed their displeasure by flinging themselves at me whenever I opened the freezer door. Luckily it was all worth it, because this ice cream is divine.

If you’re one of those strange ducks who enjoys a peanut butter jelly sandwich (spoiler alert: I am not one of them), it would be pretty awesome to swirl some jam in the finished ice cream. But if you’re a purist like me, just grab a spoon and dig in.

Peanut butter ice cream

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Peanut Butter Ice Cream

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter (I used unsweetened, since there’s plenty of sugar in the ice cream)
  • 2 2/3 cups half and half (I used lactose-free whole milk, as usual)
  • a pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Chill at least 8 hours, and then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Source: The Perfect Scoop.

Peanut Butter Cups

Happy Halloween! I am happy to report that even in our apartment building– a land of twenty-something professionals and graduate students– we got to see a few mini humans dressed as super heroes tonight. (Apparently plastering a sign that said “Welcome Trick-or-Treaters” ensured that we would not have to eat an entire bowl of candy by ourselves. Phew.)

I would have loved to give the little munchkins homemade treats like these peanut butter cups, but we don’t yet know our neighbors very well, and I didn’t want any paranoid parents thinking I was hiding razor blades in all that sweet, sweet chocolate. So I opted for pre-wrapped twix bars.

My guests last Friday night weren’t so lucky. They had to eat these by the dozen. Poor souls.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful evening, filled with treats and void of tricks. Happy Halloween!

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Quick and Easy Brownies

Today maintenance sent some guys over to seal our granite countertops. (Isn’t that the worst sentence to begin a blog post? EVER? It screams, “I have nothing to write about! Wahhhhh!”) For this gal, freshly sealed granite means no cooking, no placing my mixer back on the counter, no TOUCHY. In fact, I yelled at Gabe when he tried to use the kitchen sink, “No! You have to wait two hours!” (Turns out it had been exactly two hours and nine minutes, so he was off the hook.)

Luckily, my dear friend Rebecca had the foresight to choose exactly this day to fly back into Boston, so we had an even better excuse to eat out. Cue Thai food. And ice cream. And leftovers for dinner.

As we walked back to our place after lunch, I excitedly pointed out the nearby Coolidge Corner Theater, where one of my favorite bloggers will be stopping on her book tour in November. (Eeeek!) So this is the perfect time to share one of her recipes: amazingly simple and delicious brownies. I added the peanut butter, because everything’s better with peanut butter.

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