Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cookie Season Begins: Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

Happy December 1st!  Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Christmas is on its way.  And it is also now the official start of Cookie Season!  (At least in my home!)

Love peanut butter cookies?  My all-time favorite cookies are chocolate chip, but every once in a while I get a craving for ones made with peanut butter.  That was the case this week and I found a peanut butter cookie recipe that will take you straight to cookie heaven.  Seriously.  These are that good.  And addicting.  Perhaps one of the best reasons to like these cookies is the fact that they were still fresh and chewy the next day, and I don't think you can say that about many cookies.  (They didn't last past day two, so I don't know how long they would stay fresh.)  I daresay that if you make these for any Christmas cookie exchange this month, that you will make at least 20 new friends.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chunks
(Courtesy of Bon Appetit, March 1997)

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup old-fashioned chunky peanut butter (about 9 oz.)
1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used a combination of milk chocolate and peanut butter chips.)

Mix flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, brown sugar, butter, honey, egg and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended.  Stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture in 2 additions.  Stir in chopped chocolate.  Cover and refrigerate until dough is firm and no longer sticky, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter 2 or 3 large baking sheets.  With your hands, roll 1 heaping tablespoonful of dough for each cookie into 1 3/4-inch-diameter ball.  Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart.  Bake cookies until puffed, beginning to brown on top and still very soft to touch, about 12 minutes.  Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes.  Using a metal spatula, transfer cookies to rack and cool completely.  (Can be made 2 days ahead.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.)

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