My happiest moments of cooking are the ones that come on a whim. Whim-spiration, if you will. It’s that sudden, creative tingle that nestles itself into your brain and takes control of all of your faculties. It leads you, happily entranced, to the kitchen, where you try a new recipe, successfully create your own, or dramatically ruin a dish. No matter the outcome, whim-spirational cooking encounters are the best.
But ever since I started blogging, I’ve noticed the whim-spiration has subsided… Instead, I have an intimidatingly long list of recipes in my Google Drive that I want to try. I plan out my Saturdays so I can get X amount of dishes made within sunlight hours for photos. With every dish I want to try, I think, is it blog-worthy?
Then, one night a few weeks ago, that pleasant, creative tingle nestled into my mind once more. It was a Saturday of no cooking, instead it was filled with laundry and naps. There was no agenda for the blog that day, in place of it a schedule of laziness.
As I awoke from nap number 2 of the day, I wanted to make something. You know the feeling… your head is abuzz with a refreshed rolodex of ideas and excitement for cooking. I didn’t really care about capturing whatever I made for the blog, I just wanted to be in the kitchen, playing with food, drinking red wine, and remembering why I love to cook.
So I did that. With peanut butter cookies. And oh how lovely it was… to let the completely self-induced pressure of blogging go and just be in the kitchen. It’s silly to put that kind of weight on something that is so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, something that exists to bring me joy and allow my creative juices to run wild and free.
These cookies, these salivation-inducing cookies put me back in my place. They revitalized my food brain and soul… Which is ironic, because they are in fact laden with horribly unhealthy amounts of peanut butter, sugar, and butter. And chocolate.
Now, is this recipe mind-blowing? No. Will it revolutionize the number of viewers that come to this site? Nah. But did I have fun making something different? Yes. Did my coworkers devour these in record time and make me feel like a goddess? Yes, yes they did.
Obviously, I did end up capturing these cookies in photos. But only after I enjoyed a full 24 hours of delighting in them did I decide to photograph them. Because why waste a good thing?
So these cookies. You start with a monstrous batch of peanut butter cookie dough, courtesy of Rebecca Rather’s The Pastry Queen. You could do the classic fork criss-cross in the dough, but I rather liked the pillowy crests and ridges of the classically formed cookie.
Then, you melt chocolate chips over simmering water with a dollop of coconut oil for a creamy texture and an added omg-what-is-that-deliciousness flavor. Pour melted chocolate into a bowl. Dip cooked cookies halfway into said bowl. Sprinkle with crunchy niblets of sea salt to complement the sweet/saltiness of the peanut butter. Let cool and harden. Eat as fast as you can.
I had a bit of help while snapping pictures on my lunch break. Since these two shamelessly love peanut butter like crack cocaine, it’s no wonder why they were aggressively observant.
Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or creamy – whatever your preference is!)
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Chocolate Glaze
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter together until light and fluffy. In intervals, add both sugars until well combined. Add each egg, one at a time. Mix in vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running, add to the dough in intervals, until thoroughly combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll the dough into golf ball-sized rounds and place on a prepared baking sheet, flattening slightly with your palm. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is set. Let cool completely.
- For the chocolate, place a heat proof glass bowl over the mouth of a sauce pan with 3″ of water inside (you don’t want the bowl to be touching the water). Pour the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the bowl, and turn the burner on medium heat. As the water starts to simmer, the chocolate will sweat and eventually melt. Don’t leave unattended, and continue to fold the chocolate over and scrape down the bowl until it and the coconut oil are thoroughly melted and combined.
- Pour the melted chocolate into a narrow bowl (or a bowl big enough for you to dip a cookie in, but deep enough so half of the cookie can be immersed). Lay wax paper or foil on your prep area. Take one cookie and dip halfway into the chocolate, let drip so excess chocolate falls off. Lay on wax paper or foil, and sprinkle the chocolate half lightly with coarse sea salt.
- Repeat with rest of cookies. Let set for four hours, up to overnight, or until the chocolate has hardened again.