Welcome back to Cookie Monday! Enjoy this week’s installment:
Peanut Butter Blossoms came about in 1957 at a Pillsbury bake off in Ohio and have been an American favorite ever since. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, they’re peanut butter cookies rolled in sugar and topped with a Hershey’s Kiss. It goes without saying that they’re absolutely delicious, but I have always thought that a few adjustments could be made. First off, there’s not nearly enough chocolate in the original recipe. So I reversed the cookie, and swapped the solitary milk chocolate kiss with a thick, chewy, chocolate cookie full of cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
After making indentations in the freshly baked cookies with the end of a wooden spoon—which feels almost sacrilegious to smash down the center of a perfectly baked hot cookie—I quickly whipped together a creamy peanut butter dough In order to satisfy the peanut butter requirement. The peanut butter melts into the crevices of the hot cookies and creates a dense, almost truffle-like center.
Rather than having a cookie lightly flavored with peanut flavor and merely smelling like chocolate, I now had a thick chocolate cookie with a concentrated bite of peanut butter. It may be more than fifty years later, but I think we have a winner.
Reverse Peanut Butter Blossoms
Cookie base adapted from Cook’s illustrated
Makes 4 dozen cookies
2/3 cup granulated sugar divided
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3/8 teaspoon table salt
½ cup dark corn syrup
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 oz. (2/3 cup) chocolate chips
½ cup creamy salted peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375F. Place 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla until smooth.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the corn syrup mixture, beating for about 20 seconds until well combined. Add the flour mixture and the chocolate chips and mix on low until just combined. Remove bowl from the mixer, and hand stir and few times to ensure that all the flour is incorporated. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill while you prepare the filling.
- For the filling: mix together the peanut butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Using floured hands, roll ½ teaspoon sized balls of the peanut butter mixture and place them on a plate. Once all the balls are formed, place them in the freezer until the cookies are ready to shape.
- To form the cookies, rolls 1 tablespoon sized balls of the dough in granulated sugar and place 1 ½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes until cracked and the insides of the fissures are still moist. The cookies may look underdone, but that is the goal. Do not over bake the cookies. Immediately upon removing them from the oven, make a small indentation with the cylindrical end of a wooden spoon in the center of each cookie. The indentation should be about ¼ inch deep and ½ inch in diameter. Place one peanut butter ball in each indentation. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.