Happy Friday! Let me tell you, after a crazy week I'm extremely happy it's Friday. It's been very stressful around here for various reasons, so once I got through dinner tonight I decided some baking needed to be done. Sometimes focusing on something completely unrelated to work and other "stuff", helps relieve the stress. Baking is great for that because if you don't pay attention to what you are doing, you end up with something you weren't aiming for - likely failed cookie.
Tonight, I did not have a failed cookie. Not by a long shot! I went back to a favorite source, Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies ( a special edition magazine from a few years back). I was looking for something that would cure the blahs, blues, stress or even PMS if need be. The cookies, Peanut-Butter Surprises, have that unbeatable combination of chocolate and peanut butter. They were simple to mix and get the peanut butter filling into the middle of them.
There is nothing like biting into one of these cookies and getting that ooey-gooey peanut butter with the soft-yet-crispy cookie mixed together. Oh yes, these can cure whatever might ail you and you can have them in the oven in a matter of 10-15 minutes. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool enough to take that first bite.
Ok... so, it's December and EVERYONE is baking cookies to fill those cookie trays and gift baskets. Here is a sampling of what I've seen recently out in the food blogging world:
Check out Cook & Eat's Chocolate Dipped Madelines. I have GOT to get one of those pans!
Joy the Baker always has amazing treats to share and her Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Treats could put a smile on anyone's face.
Recipegirl was channeling her inner-Martha Stewart when she made Cinnamon Star Cookie Ornaments. Check them out... any Christmas tree is bound to be more festive with some of these adorning it.
Head on over to the Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch for her Italian Christmas Cookies.
Finally, head over to What's Cooking for what looks like a recipe for beautiful Orange and Chocolate Cookies - a perfect flavor combination!
Source: Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter - at room temperature
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, paking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully combined between additions. Add vanilla; beat to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients; mix on low speed until fully combined. Add chocolate chips; mix on low jus tuntil combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, chill until firm - about 1 hour.
In a small bowl using a rubber spatula, stir together peanut butter and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Drop by tablespoon of dough at a time onto baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Make a thumbprint in the center of each cookie. Fill thumbprint with 2 teaspoons peanut butter mixture. Top with a second tablespoon of flattened dough. Carefully mold dough to cover "surprise".
Bake until firm, about 12 minutes - rotating halfway through. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from baking sheets, and let cool completely on wire racks.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.