Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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Wait! Don’t skip this post because the picture is bad! It’s terrible, I know. But you will be so, so sorry if you don’t have these in your life. Let me tell you something about chocolate peanut butter chip cookies — they are very hard to photograph. No matter how good they are — and trust me, these are beyond good — they sort of look like piles of, um, well you know…

Anyhoo.

There is a bakery on the upper west side of New York that has my favorite chocolate peanut butter cookie on the planet. It’s called Levain Bakery. Do you know it? If you don’t, put it on your list next time you’re in the Big Apple. It’s a hole in the wall place in a basement location, but they serve the cookies straight out of the oven and you will never forget your first time…er, first bite.

My friend Anna of Cookie Madness cloned the Levain cookies and, as a result, I have written her into my will. They are so yummy, so yummy, you may never make another cookie again.

And the best (or worst) part — you can freeze the mounds of dough and bake them right from frozen. I think they taste the best this way, and often make just one or two in my toaster oven.

Here’s Anna’s clone recipe, along with my notes:

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Ingredients

8 ounces (2 sticks) cold, European style butter*, chopped

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups (10.1 ounces) King Arthur Bread Flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cups (2 ounces) Hershey’s Dark Dutch processed cocoa powder

1 cup extra dark chocolate chips

1 cup Reese’s peanut butter chips

*The Euro butter gives a taller rise and tastes better, but don't let it stop you from making these. Regular butter is fine.

Instructions

1. If you’re going to bake right away, preheat the oven to 350 F convection or 375F regular. (LW notes: they taste much better if you chill the dough first)

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cold butter until it is creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until it is mixed in. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating with the paddle on medium until mixed, scraping sides of bowl once or twice. The coolness from the eggs should make the butter seize up again so the creamy mixture will appear lumpy.

3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix in the cocoa. With the mixer on medium-low (or by hand with a heavy duty rubber scraper), gradually add the flour mixture stirring just until mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips peanut butter chips.

4. Empty the batter onto a large flat surface and make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Instead of lumping it all together, keep it kind of loose. Divide into 12 raggedy pieces. The dough should be cold before you even put it in the refrigerator, but chilling the dough will help make the cookies taller. I’ve also had good results freezing the dough and baking it from frozen. (LW notes: best from frozen, but darn good chilled).

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. If you are using convection, preheat to 350 F convection.

6. Arrange cookies (I recommend baking 1 or 2 first to nail down your time) on a chilled, heavy duty cookie sheet. Bake on center rack for 18 minutes at 375 or 15 minutes at 350F convection. Let cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove and finish cooling on a rack. When cool, you can eat OR you can freeze the cookie and thaw them for a better texture.

http://sugarmamacooks.com/peanut-butter-cup-cookies/

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