This week I turn 27, celebrate my 1st wedding anniversary, and I got a Lowe’s card. All of these things make me feel adult-ish…especially having a card solely for the use of home improvements and not for random shoes/clothes/jewels/dishware I want.
It’s kind of a big, weird week.
When I’m feeling weirded out and I don’t know what to do with myself, I default to the kitchen. I know what to do in there.
It’s my spot.
When I’m not sure what to bake, I usually go for cookies. They are hand held, portable, diverse little bites of goodness. When I’m not sure what I want I usually go for peanut butter or chocolate. In this case, I went for both.
Before I give you the recipe and send you running into the kitchen, let me tell you about the dough.
It be mad sticky yo.
Since you have to roll it into balls and subsequently flatten and wrap them around the peanut butter filling, I suggest a bit of chillin’ in the refrigerator. A half an hour or more and things will be much more workable. The peanut butter guts, however, are pretty dry. No worries there.
You may be thinking, too much effort. It’s not. I promise. These cookies are so worth the (multiple!) chillings and the extra tender, loving, care.
Trust me. For serious.
Imagine this, brownie meets peanut butter. Brownie loves little old PB so much. Brownie give pb a hug and never lets go. Ever.
That’s what these cookies are. A tasty, chocolatey, peanut buttery hug.
Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Cookies aka Peanut Butter Ninjas
I saw this recipe a few months back and it was entitled Peanut Butter Ninjas–because of the secret PB middles. I bookmarked them and went about my life, but today I decided to make them. So, I dug up the link only to find it defunct. Double Damn. So, I did a quick search and found this recipe, after a little tweaking I came up with this. If you make these I implore you to not skip the chilling process, it will save you some stress and possible gray hairs. Also, when rolling I suggest having some flour or powdered sugar on hand to keep the stickiness to a minimum.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
granulated sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer cream butter on medium speed. Add sugars and mix until creamy and incorporated. Add egg and vanilla and mix well, making sure to scrape the bowl.
Add dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture and pulse mixer in short bursts until dough just comes together. Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix together peanut butter and confectioners sugar to combine. I find that gently microwaving the peanut butter (30 seconds or less) a little helps with incorporating the sugar. You should have a fairly firm peanut butter dough. Using a teaspoon, roll genrous spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture into balls. Place on a plate and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Once the cookie dough is chilled and workable, taking heaping tablespoons full of dough and roll into balls. Place on a plate and put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until firm, but not frozen.
Remove cookie dough balls from freezer and peanut butter balls from refrigerator. Flatten cookie dough into disks and place a ball of peanut butter in the center. Wrap the edges of the cookie dough around the peanut butter filling and seal, and roll it into a uniform-ish ball. Place cookies on sheet pans and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand, sprinkle with granulated sugar if you like. Place the finished cookies on their pans back into the freezer for 5-10 more minutes–this will keep the cookies from spreading too much.
Remove cookies from freezer and bake for 10-12 minutes. the tops and edges should crackle a bit and dough will still be soft but dry to the touch, dough should not be overly gooey. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for a few minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.