Occasionally, I crave a paper thin cookie – the only kind my dad really likes – when I’m aching for dessert with a raging sweet tooth that just won’t quit. Other days, when I’m reaching for comfort and sometimes feel like eating my emotions, I look for the perfectly thick, chewy cookie, still gooey from the oven, plucked from it’s baking sheet in pieces because I lack patience. And on a rare occurrence, I want to find my cookie inside of things: ice cream, cinnamon rolls, brownies, and bars… to which I will inevitably pick out each piece of cookie so precisely that it appears they were surgically removed by a world class surgeon. A dessert surgeon, that is.
This temperamental relationship I share with cookies proves just what a lunatic I am when it comes to food. I can find a time, a place, a day, or an event for any food in wild variation. In fact… my heart sort of bursts when I come across something new and delicious (uh… skillet bacon jam anyone? don’t worry, I bought two jars… just incase.) or rediscover something I once loved and typically burned myself out on. The excitement consumes me and makes me feel alive, vibrant and eager to try new things. Except for broccoli. Broccoli makes me feel dirty, used and generally unkept. Like I need a shower and a $90 exfoliator.
Now you know.
After scrubbing the kitchen floor last week on my hands and knees, pretending to clean the bathrooms but really just touching up the spots that everyone see, being extensively domestic and cooking four dinners in a row, I was craving three things. I doubted I was lucky enough to receive a free, live-in maid or a lobotomy, but I knew I could make cookies happen. Cookies are magic. And I wanted the chewy cookies. The fat ones. The comfort ones. The ones that practically beg your to steal them from their cooling rack on the counter. The cookies whose crumbs and broken pieces are happily calorie free and always find a way to jump into your mouth. Sneaky sneaky.
So… I made cookies. Not just any cookies. Peanut butter + chocolate cookies. You know… only the best combination to ever grace this planet. It’s evident that chocolate and peanut butter were meant to be together when it’s a marriage that you discovered yourself – not from the local cupcake bakery or a store-bought treat, not inherited from your mom or your grandma – found in the comfort of your own kitchen by means of a spoon, an economy-sized jar of Jif and a half used bag of 6-month old chocolate chips. Sponsored by your first broken heart and aversion to any nourishment other than what could be found in the Cheez-It box.
Many words came to mind with my first bite: warm, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth delicious, ecstasy… but before I recount a trashy romance novel for you, I gotta tell you this: they were puffy. Fat, fluffy, puffy, chewy cookies. That is what’s UP. Delicious, decadent and stuffed with peanut butter. You totally deserve this.
Puffy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
adapted from the giant rainbow cookies
makes about 18 cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
8 tablespoons of salted butter, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Add butter and peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl, and heat in 30 second increments until melted. Let cool completely.
Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the cooled butter/peanut butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. I even used my hands to bring it all together. If necessary, add 1-2 teaspoons of milk, but I did not need this. Fold in chocolate chips.
Shape the dough into a ball the size of a golfball. Place on a baking sheet two inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be soft and puffy. Do not over bake. Let cool completely then dig in!
P.S. I won’t tell if you want to sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on top. I hear it’s the thing to do.