One of my favorite foods is peanut butter (beaten out only by ice cream). When I was younger, my go-to lunch was a peanut butter sandwich – simple yet perfect. I decided to look for a recipe this week that incorporated my love of peanut butter, but wasn’t just a plain Jane peanut butter cookie.
If you’re looking to treat a peanut butter lover in your life, you can’t go wrong with this cookie. With the addition of cocoa powder and chocolate chips these cookies definitely live up to the “fudge” part of their name, while allowing the peanut butter to shine through. People at work loved these cookies and even asked me for the recipe. Anytime someone loves a cookie enough to request the recipe I know it's a keeper.
Peanut Butter Fudge Cookies (adapted from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken up
2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used a mix of smooth and crunchy)
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a small bowl, microwave the unsweetened chocolate on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir well and continue microwaving, stirring at 30-second intervals. Stop microwaving before the chocolate completely melts and let the residual heat finish the job.
In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low, then medium speed, beat together the melted chocolate, peanut butter, brown sugar, sugar, and cocoa powder until well blended. Add the butter and beat until very well blended and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat or stir in the flour mixture, then the chocolate chips, just until incorporated. Chill the dough for about 15 minutes.
Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto lined baking sheets. Using the tines of a fork, firmly press down each ball horizontally and then vertically until the ball is about ½ inch thick.
Bake the cookies for about 8 to 11 minutes, or until just barely firm in the center. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let stand until completely cooled.
Makes about 36 cookies.