Sometimes it's good to do stuff for no good reason at all. Maybe people at work have been grumbling about how they missed the cheesecake you brought in recently, maybe you spied a cool-looking recipes somewhere, maybe you're just in the mood for baking... Who needs an excuse, though? When you need to bake, you need to bake!
After spying this recipe on Pennies on a Platter I knew it had to be done - I do love my peanut butter, and the chocolate/peanut butter combo is pretty classic, in as much as peanut butter can be considered classic. This particularly appealed to me because of the hidden filling - it makes them take a bit longer to make but once you get the hang of it they're easy to roll (get the kids' sleeves rolled up!).
The mixture is a pretty normal kind of cookie - a nicely dark chocolatey dough, which works really well with the sweetened peanut filling. Some of the dry ingredients go in one bowl...
... while a little peanut butter is added to the butter and sugar...
... and creamed...
... and then the rest of the dry ingredients are added to make a dough. This is a pretty yummy cookie dough (but then I haven't met one I didn't like!) but try to restrain yourself a little because there's still the filling to come!
The filling is very simple - peanut butter, beaten together with some icing sugar. Pretty good straight off a spoon, actually. ;-)
To assemble, you grab a bit of dough, flatten it out into a big circle, spoon some filling into the centre and then squish the edges together. It'll probably take a couple of practice goes bit rest assured they taste good no matter how they look.
Once you've got a sort of little parcel you pinch the edges together to capture the peanut buttery deliciousness, then roll it around (carefully) and press it into its cookie form. Not difficult, but as I mentioned it does take a wee bit longer. So what can you do while you're making them?
Well, if you're me you might have a good old Christmas carol singalong with Mariah (sorry neighbours!) - what better to pass the time? (Mr Cake argues that no-one should be subjected to Mariah's Christmas warblings but I quite like singing along. I had the cassette tape when I was 12 so I know all the words - that makes me awesome, right?)
As is traditional with cookies, they get baked for a few minutes - they'll spread a little bit and depending how smoothly you rolled them there might be the bit of peanut butter showing but I quite like this - it gives a hint of the filling inside.
And the taste - well, I wouldn't have minded more filling but they were very yummy. Spectacular fresh out of the oven but still really good cold - next time I might make more filling and try to make that work - or maybe just make giant cookies! I think they'd be pretty awesome dipped in chocolate, too - imagine the decadence. ;-)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies (makes about 35)
1½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
140g butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 180 C. Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl beat the sugars, butter and 1/4 cup of the peanut butter until light and smooth. Add the vanilla and egg, beating to combine. Mix together with other dry ingredients.
Cream together the powdered sugar and remaining 3/4 cup of peanut butter.
To assemble the cookies, flatten about a tablespoonful of dough into a thin circle with your hands. Scoop a small teaspoonful of the peanut butter mixture and place in the center of the chocolate dough. Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter filling, pressing ends together to seal. Roll between hands to smooth into a ball. Gently flatten and place on a baking tray.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes - they will still be quite soft when cooked but will be slightly springy. Sample one if you're not sure. ;-)