Thursday, February 14, 2019

Chewy Milk Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies

I could bake with peanut butter 8 times out of 10 if it wouldn't be so redundant, and if I didn't know so many people with peanut allergies (*sigh*).

9 times out of 10, I would and I DO bake with chocolate, but I'm sure you figured that out by now...

These cookies are just so right because they have the great qualities of a traditional chocolate chip cookie; that is, chewy inside with crisp edges. And then they have the big peanut butter flavour paired with caramel-like brown sugar... it's everything.

These wouldn't be as awesome as they are without chocolate. Duh. So, in we go with chunks! Now, typically I always opt for dark chocolate to balance the sweetness of cookie dough, and I usually go for bittersweet 70% to boot! But for these, I actually prefer milk chocolate. I really like how the creamy dairy flavour of milk chocolate plays off of the savoury salty nuttiness of peanut butter.

Of course, the choice of inclusions is totally in your hands, but this is how I like them.
Pecans, cranberries, roasted peanuts or tart cherries with dark chocolate would also be wildly delicious!

I hope you add this to your weekend bake list! Let me know how much you love them!

Chewy Milk Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies
makes 18-20 cookies

½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (110g) packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ cup (120ml) regular or natural smooth unsweetened peanut butter 
1 tbsp (15ml) agave or brown rice syrup
1 cup (142g) all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups (200g) milk chocolate chunks
flaked sea salt for sprinkling

Beat the butter with brown sugar and maple sugar for 1-2 minutes on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl if using an electric hand mixer) until smooth and evenly blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well incorporated and the mixture looks creamy. Mix in peanut butter. Add agave or brown rice syrup and mix until well combined and smooth.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend evenly. Add this all at once to the bowl with the butter/sugar mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Add the milk chocolate chunks and fold them in using a spatula. The dough will be soft and a bit sticky. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Flatten dough balls with the palm of your hand and bake for 11-13 minutes until golden around the edges. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cookies cool for a minute before transferring them individually to the rack to continue cooling. 

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