Monday, June 13, 2011

peanut butter chocolate meta-cookies

cookie party! are there two more beautiful words in the english language? yeah, i've heard that thing about "cellar door"' but frankly i think it's overrated - cookie party is where it's at.

anyway, we had the great good fortune to be invited to a cookie party this weekend (for the uninitiated, it is exactly what it sounds like - everyone brings cookies and eats other people's cookies and drinks beer while ogling the weird "bakon" vodka someone brought and daring each other to try it).

i decided to make meta-cookies, because awesome. i got the idea here, in which they are boringly called cookie-stuffed cookies. i am glad i didn't go with chocolate chip cookies stuffed with oreos, though, not least because someone else at the party made them! it is a trend! also, though, i am glad because i think it would be really difficult to shape them properly if they were full of chocolate chips.

for the peanut butter cookie part of the endeavor, i used this recipe as a base. however, i cut down the sugar a little, added an extra 1/3 cup of peanut butter, and sprinkled the tops with kosher salt (i think all cookies should be sprinkled with kosher salt, for reals). if i had had ground peanuts, you can bet i would have used those for some of the flour or something, too. i don't even like peanut butter very much, but if you are eating a peanut butter cookie it should taste really peanut buttery, is my feeling.

due to the exigencies of meta-cookie-making, i also had to change up the part about chilling the dough - you want it nice and cold for these puppies.

so basically you just make the dough, put it in the freezer for a good 45 minutes to an hour or so (along with the cookies you are using for the inside - i used chocolate trader joe's oreo knockoffs, or "joe-joes"), then start patting. the main thing is to make sure you make each part of the peanut butter dough fairly thin. you should look at the cookie-stuffed cookie thing as a guide, but i found that for this dough, you just need like a tablespoon for each side.

so get about a tablespoon of dough and try to quickly (you don't want it getting too warm) pat/smush it into a round disc. then do that with another one and sandwich your storebought cookie in between them. then pinch around the edges and seal the cookie inside the dough! it seems kind of hard at first, but you will get the hang of it quickly. i have faith in you!

as you finish, put them on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. once it is filled up, stick it back in the freezer (or fridge) for at least another 15 minutes to let the dough firm up again. i didn't do that with the first batch and some of them got a little tumorous when the dough spread out too much in baking, so you could kind of notice the cookies inside more. also you want to (after they are chilled) use a fork to do the little crosshatch things that are mysteriously required of peanut butter cookies. then sprinkle each with a little kosher salt to add a little extra kick that your tastebuds will thank you for.

(i know the ones above are pretty ugly, but the next batch looked much better. also they still were more than edible.)

then bake them for 15-20 minutes, until they are lightly brown on the edges and they start smelling really nutty and toasty. they bake for longer than your typical peanut butter cookie because they are gigantic and they are baking for two. you can bake them for less time if you want them to be extra-soft - these were pretty crispy.

these are definitely not something you want to make all the time, because they are a little ridiculous. but they are fun at a cookie party and they aren't that much of a hassle to make. meta-cookies!

*ingredients & recipe* makes about 2 dozen enormous cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup peanut butter (i used some hippy one without added sugar, you can use whatever)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar (not packed. or pack it. whatever you like)
2 eggs (i used my freaky jumbo eggs, because it's not like i am going to make fried eggs from them, but you can use regular nice eggs)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus extra for sprinkling)

a couple dozen chocolate sandwich cookies. i liked these because they had chocolate filling as well as cookies, so double chocolate!

cream together the butter and peanut butter.
add the sugars and mix on medium/high for a couple of minutes, so it gets all light and fluffy. it's not a bad idea to scrape down the sides of the bowl sometimes to make sure you aren't leaving anyone out.
add the eggs, mixing in between each and then giving it all a good whirl to make sure it's incorporated.
with the dry ingredients, everyone is all "sift together in separate bowl" and that is a totally good idea if you aren't as lazy and dish-averse as i am. i just made sure the baking soda wasn't lumpy and then just added everything to the bowl together without sifting or mixing it first.
then mix just until combined to a uniform texture. you don't want to overdo it.

then put it in the freezer (i didn't even cover the bowl, but you could do that) for 45 minutes to an hour or so - just to get it to a point where it is less sticky and thus easier to work with.

then just do the aforementioned patting and sealing and put them back in the fridge/freezer for 15 minutes or more. this is also when you can turn the oven on to preheat - 350.

bake for 15-20 minutes, then take out, let them sit for a minute or two, then put them on a wire rack to cool. i don't have a real wire rack, so when i need one i take out one of the oven racks. it's probably not the best way, but it seems to work okay. i just slid the parchment with the cookies on it off the sheet and right onto the rack, because they are pretty soft when they're first out of the oven.

it would also be awesome if you were to drizzle some melted chocolate over the top.

ta da!

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