September 6, 2014

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

When you're going on a 3 1/2-week vacation with two children under three that involves 6,600 miles spent in a vehicle, you know you need cookies to keep your sanity for the first part of the trip at least. I used this recipe from Love and Olive Oil to give us something delicious to erase some of the screaming for the first 1,000 miles or so. (It worked, too. A bit of cookie bliss is necessary when your older child wakes your sleeping younger child, who then screams the remaining 45 minutes until you get to the hotel. Of course the older child wasn't bothered as he promptly fell asleep after waking his brother.)

Good cookies. They save your sanity, at least temporarily.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla 
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
36 dark chocolate peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter and peanut butter until melted. Stir until smooth, and let cool.
Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir the melted butter and peanut butter together with sugars until it forms a thick paste. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla, and stir until incorporated. Gradually add dry ingredients, and mix until it comes together, using your hands if necessary. The dough may seem crumbly at first but should come together eventually. Mix in chocolate chips.
Scoop dough by the heaping tablespoon. Split and slightly flatten one half in your palm. Place peanut butter cup on top, and then squish remaining dough around to completely encase it. Arrange on prepared baking sheets, leaving about two inches of space between cookies.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until centers are set and edges are light golden brown. Remove from oven, and let cool for 10 minutes (or longer) on baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 36 cookies.

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