Chocolate peanut butter cookies

You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate – or simply just peanut butter out of the pot with a large spoon, but if you want something a little more dignified, try these delicate little biscuits.

The recipe comes from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman which I have amended slightly. Before you start be aware these cookies are a bit of a faff (6/10 on the faff scale) but they do work and most importantly are delicious.

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The biscuit layer tones down the richness of the chocolate ganache sandwiching each one together and a layer of strawberry jam could make a good alternative.

While the recipe says it makes 40 – I managed to do around 50ish and had to donate bags to our neighbours to avoid gorging the lot.

They are extremely rich so unless you’re prepared to get through the lot, or give them out to friends and family members, half the recipe.

Ingredients:

115 unsalted butter at room temperature

225g smooth peanut butter

110g caster sugar

95g light brown sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

260g plain flour

1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

A healthy pinch of sea salt

Filling:

230g dark chocolate – with at least 70% cocoa

3 tablespoons peanut butter

30g unsalted butter

A healthy pinch of sea salt flakes

How to make…

Beat the butter and sugars until light, fluffy and around double their size. This takes around five minutes in a mixer and seven or eight by hand (depending on your beating skills). Add the PB to the mixture and slowly add the egg.

In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients together and then sift into the PB mix until well combined.  Bring the dough together by hand and separate in two, freeze these both for at least 30 minutes – this will keep for two months or three days in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 180C/160 Fan/Gas 4.

At this point make the filling. In a bowl set carefully over a pan of simmering water, add the chocolate, peanut butter, and pinch of sea salt and whisk together. Once the chocolate is melted and everything looks smooth remove from the heat and leave somewhere cool – it will take a couple of hours for the filling to be thick enough to use.

Once the cookie dough is ready, get it out of the oven and warm slightly. This bit is fiddly and the dough WILL crumble apart, the only way to fix this is pushing it back together and trying to stay calm.

Roll out each block and then cut into small rounds. The smaller the cutter, the better, as these are very rich.

Cook the rounds on baking paper, on baking trays, in the oven for around 10 minutes each of until they’ve turned slightly darker in colour and expanded. Don’t place them too close together or they’ll merge into one big monster of a cookie.

Once baked, transfer to a cooling rack until cold.

When the chocolate filling is almost hard, you can then dollop it in-between cookie halves and sandwich together. If you want a photo finish you can pipe it in the middle but I didn’t bother with this.

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