Let us now sing praises of the chocolate chip cookie. It is so simple, yet so rich in taste and memory. It comes in a million different recipes, each unique, yet each producing a fairly similar result. But what if you, like the Baking Sisters, were looking for something a little different, a little more exciting....
We came across a container of tiny milk chocolate peanut butter cups while on a trip to Trader Joe's of New Jersey and we couldn't resist. Behold, the delicious love child of chocolate chip cookies and peanut buttery goodness:
Of course, the great thing about chocolate chip cookies is that you can really put anything in them: peanut butter cups, white chocolate chunks, M and Ms, or, if you're really nuts, nuts. (This is not just cutesy wordplay — we never put nuts in our cookies or brownies, and we believe you'd have to be nuts to do so.)
Our recipe was adapted from the great Dorie Greenspan, and the cookies were delectable (although just eating the dough might have been even better). However, we are having a lot of trouble with our mixer; after an heroic effort, we eventually got Rebecca's husband to unstick the bowl (yay feminism!) but soon he will be gone and Sarah will have to struggle on her own. If any of you bakers out there have ever had to unstick a KitchenAid stand mixer bowl and have suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated. And now, le recipe:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini-milk chocolate peanut cups or regular-sized peanut butter cups, chopped into small pieces (You may want to refrigerate them before using so that they don't melt and stick together)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients. (You can add them in portions, because otherwise your flour might spray everywhere.) Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate and peanut butter cups — be careful, since the peanut butter cups are fragile.
Because of the peanut butter cups, these cookies spread a lot more than normal chocolate chip cookies, so you might want to chill the dough before baking. Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls. Bake the cookies- one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point- for 10-12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that's just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.