Christmas Baking

I know we haven’t even made it to Thanksgiving yet but I have been in the mood to do my Christmas baking. Well, to be domestic, really. I have been feeling inspired to scrapbook lately (those layouts will be another blog…a feeble attempt to post more frequently) and decorate my house. The decorating my house part comes mostly into play out of necessity. On account of that whole moving in and just getting furniture thing. Those pictures will come in another post, once I finish my living room and put the finishing touches on my bedroom which is looking supercute, btw.

Tonight, however, I wanted to try a new recipe for peanut butter-filled chocolate cookies. Although a bit tedious to assemble, they are, in fact, as delicious as I had hoped. For those of you that want to get your holiday bake on, I give you the recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. Dutch cocoa powder (apparently this is different than Hershey’s cocoa…something about Dutch cocoa not reacting with baking soda…the chemistry-related google search results were enough to make me go out to Nob Hill Market in my ugliest sweats to find Dutch cocoa)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. softened butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
    Peanut Butter Filling:

  • 3/4 c. sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
Thoroughly blend together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl (or a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, if you have two brothers that care enough to get you one for Christmas a few years ago), beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar and 1/4 c. peanut butter until well combined. Add in the egg, milk and vanilla and mix well. Gently fold in the flour mixture a little at a time, until well incorporated. On a sheet on waxed paper, form one-inch balls with the chocolate dough and flatten (I used the palm of my hand but I’m sure the bottom of a glass would work just as well).

Prepare the peanut butter filling by combining the confectioner’s sugar and 1/2 c. peanut butter in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Though the recipe called for 3/4 c. of powdered sugar, I thought the mixture was too dry and added another heaping spoonful of peanut butter which made the consistency better but I also had a little filling left over. Once the filling is smooth, form 1/2 inch balls and flatten onto the chocolate dough cookies and carefully fold chocolate dough around the peanut butter filling. Roll back into a ball to seal the seams and place the balls on a cookie sheet.

They say to line the sheet with parchment paper but I didn’t have any and didn’t feel up to making a second trip to Nob Hill (I try to limit my public appearances at which I look like a hobo to once a day) so I just greased the sheet with straight butter, Paula Deen-style, then loaded up the cookies. I did, however, flatten them slightly before popping them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, depending on how many times I cracked the oven open to let the good smells waft out. You can tell the cookies are ready when the surface begins to slightly crack. Let them cool on the sheet for a minute then transfer to wax paper to cool further. The recipe only makes about 30 cookies but they are 30 damn good cookies.

The result were these delicious-looking bad boys:

I recommend getting a chilled glass of milk ready. You will need it.

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