OK, a wee word of advice...if you're putting off making something because your other half doesn't like the sound of something, don't listen to them! Do it!
The plan to satisfy my baking addiction this week was going to be these cheesecake bars. However, when John told me he was going to some silly conference that day, my plans were somewhat scuppered. (He's so inconsiderate). There was no way that I was going to give up that easily though so I had to think up a plan b pretty quickly. As I was now only baking for 2, I thought that a whole tray of cheesecake might be a little bit too much to get through. (I can't believe I just wrote that). After rifling through numerous cookbooks, I came across peanut butter cookies and thought yeah, they've gotta be made. Screw you John. And can I just say that this is a guy that eats peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon. So wouldn't peanut butter cookies be the ideal choice? I can't believe that I've waited this long to make these. Not that I'm bitter or anything...
And the result? I have a convert! They weren't too peanutty and the chocolate just made them all the better. In fact personally, I would probably add a little more next time. And not being the biggest fan of dark chocolate, it would more than likely be milk, but that's just me. White would also be worth a try. They were soft and chewy, just a as cookie should be and I had to exert some serious will power not to eat them all before I could take a photo. A good sign I think.
The original recipe makes 24 cookies but I decided to divide it by two. I still managed to get 24 decent sized cookies out of this though so I guess the proper sized ones are humongous! But hey, if you like your cookies the size of a plate them just double this recipe or you could use my halved version and just make 6. Either way, they're very moreish!
p.s I have no idea how but we had a forgotten cookie in the biscuit tin a few days after I made them...and whilst it wasn't perfectly fresh, it was still pretty darn good . So they last well too. Grand!
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
Makes 24 cookies
112.5g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
120g crunchy peanut butter
170g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
40g dark chocolate (or your chocolate of choice), chopped
Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas mark 3. According to my oven thermometer, my oven runs hot so I set my temperature to 150C. So be careful not to overcook them, you want them to be chewy!
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add half the egg at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the sides of the bowl after each addition. Turn the mixer down to a slow speed and beat in the vanilla and peanut butter.
Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well until a smooth dough is formed. Stir in the chocolate until evenly dispersed.
|mmm, cookie dough|
Arrange 6 equal amounts of cookie dough on each prepared baking tray. (I had to bake mine in batches as I only have one tray but this didn't seem to effect the outcome). Make sure they're spaced apart to allow for spreading. They do spread out and flatten a fair bit.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and quite flat. I overdid my first batch so be careful. They puffed up a lot and so I thought I would have to wait until they had gone completely flat before taking them out but they flattened properly once they had been taken out of the oven. So beware!
Leave them to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Don't be tempted to turn them out straight away. They are still very, very, very soft when you first take them out of the oven.
And finally, enjoy with an ice cold glass of milk. Oh my days, now there's a tasty little afternoon snack.