TCP Kitchen
Peanut Butter + Chocolate: A Love Story
When these flavors join forces, it’s like a match made in heaven

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Melissa Brisko

Long before a successful ad campaign launched a candy’s fame with the line “two great tastes that taste great together,” the perfect union of chocolate and peanut butter was a force to be reckoned with. Each flavor enhances the other’s best qualities: salty, nutty peanuts anchor and elevate chocolate’s silky texture and sweetness. So, for this month of valentine giving, we share your best peanut butter and chocolate recipes. In the following recipe, chunky peanut butter provides a great crunch, and brown sugar adds a delicious butterscotch flavor.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup chunky peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 tablespoon sprinkling sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. In another large bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the white and brown sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the milk and vanilla.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks.

5. Place a tablespoon of sprinkling sugar in a small bowl. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar then place on baking sheet, leaving several inches between for expansion.

6. Bake 10–12 minutes until lightly golden. To maintain a chewy texture in the middle, do not overbake. (Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.)

7. Cool the cookies on the sheets 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Makes about 24 cookies.


Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Recipes From New York’s Sweetest Bakery by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey (Simon & Schuster, 1999)

Web Extra: The Scoop on Cocoa Powder

Unsweetened cocoa powder is made from cacao beans that have been fermented, dried, roasted and cracked into “nibs.” Those nibs are ground to extract most of the cocoa butter, leaving crumbly solids, which are then ground into a fine powder. Unsweetened cocoa powder is the core of a chocolate’s flavor (without any extra fat, sugar or milk) and the most widely available. Like chocolate bars, cocoa powders vary based on the cacao bean and how it’s manufactured.

 

Dutch-processed cocoa (sometimes called “alkalized,” “European-style” or “Dutched” cocoa) is treated with an alkali to neutralize the cocoa’s natural acidity, giving it a smoother, more mellow flavor and a noticeably darker hue.

 

Black cocoa or cocoa noir: Available in specialty shops or online (see kingarthurflour.com), black cocoa is heavily Dutched cocoa that creates incredibly dark—almost black—cakes and cookies. It sounds exotic, but the rich smell will be very familiar; it’s the bittersweet variety used in Oreos. For the best results, use it sparingly, in combination with Dutch-processed cocoa in your favorite brownie recipe.

 

Raw cocoa powder is uncooked and less heavily processed than traditional cocoa powder. It’s thought to be one of the highest sources of antioxidants among all foods and is prized for being a nutrient-dense, energy-boosting superfood. It’s made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, a process that retains the living enzymes. Look for it online or at health food stores, and try it in smoothies, granola bars or baked goods.

TAGS: Contests, Food, TCP Kitchen

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