Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Chips

For a few months I had been thinking of writing and testing some recipes with peanut butter chips. So when I was at Whole Foods one day, I bought a package of Sunspire peanut butter chips. From the moment I ate one, I knew I would never be the same. However, I didn’t count on having to go to peanut butter–chip rehab.

Peanut butter chips are my baker’s crack. Forget about pink sea salt, obscure Tahitian vanilla or Valrhona chocolate. I will shiv you over a cup of Sunspire peanut butter chips.

I figured one 10-ounce bag would be enough for two batches of cookies. I didn’t account for mainlining them, so, I am embarrassed to say I tore through several bags of chips— only a few cups of which actually found their way into cookies.

By the time I finally got the cookie recipes squared away, I am happy to report I had reached a peanut butter–chip saturation point.  I could walk down the baking aisle without even looking at the bags of peanut butter chips. Though they called to me in the sweetest of tones, I walked on, ignoring them. It was hard at first, and there were times when I almost broke down and added them to my shopping cart. But I kept reminding myself of two very important facts with regard to continuous peanut butter–chip consumption: Buying new, larger-size pants every week gets expensive, and having teeth that can get you mistaken for a Dickens character is just so 1836.

Someday I may be able to resume a casual relationship with peanut butter chips. In fact, just yesterday I saw them, said good morning and kept going. I think I’m moving in the right direction.  My goals right now are humble: to wear the same size pants week after week and not frighten other people when I smile at them.

Dark Chocolate-Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies

I am partial to dark chocolate, but you can sub semisweet chips here if dark chocolate doesn’t do it for you. Make sure you allow the melted butter to cool or your little dollops of dough will morph into one big cookie. I speak from experience here, kids.

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon instant espresso
½ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter chips

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line baking sheet with parchment. If you don’t want to use parchment, no worries. Just don’t grease the baking sheet.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, espresso and salt. In large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, applesauce and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture until combined. Stir in chocolate and peanut butter chips. Feel free to eat the rest of the peanut butter chips if you’re not worried about declining dental health or an exponentially expanding butt.
3. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 9 minutes. If cookies are a little puffy, hit the baking sheet against your counter to deflate. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to rack. When completely cooled, store in airtight container for up to 3 days.

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