When I made those yummy chocolate chip cookies last week, I dropped off a plate at a friend’s house (me + a full batch of cookies = disaster). She thanked me for them and, since she is a rather frequent recipient of baked goods from me, expressed some surprise at how often I bake cookies, and said she couldn’t even remember the last time she made cookies. And I hadn’t really thought about it, but I do make cookies a lot. They’re probably my favorite treat to make—they’re easy and fast and crowd-pleasing and delicious with a billion wonderful variations. They’re easy to transport if you need to take them somewhere or give some away. They’re ideal stress baking (not too finicky or demanding), and the perfect afternoon snack. I find them so soothing to make. If I’m stressed? Cookies. If I’m tired? Cookies. If the kids are driving me insane and I need a short kitchen escape? Cookies. If I’m happy? Celebratory cookies.
This recipe comes from my aunt Miriam and our family cookbook (where so many of my favorite recipes come from). My mom raved a few weeks ago about some wonderful chocolate dipped peanut butter cookies her sister Miriam had made, so I just had to wait for an appropriately stressful day to try them out myself. And I’ll admit: up until this recipe, I’ve never loved peanut butter cookies. I love peanut butter cookie dough, but once they’re baked, I usually think they’re too dry and crumbly. But these are everything I’ve ever wanted and haven’t found before in a peanut butter cookie recipe. They’re moist and chewy and delicious, and the chocolate dip is just fantastic, plus makes them look pretty impressive (I thought they’d make a nice neighbor Christmas gift, and you could even add some sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet). If I may offer a word of advice on the ideal consumption of these cookies: eat the chocolate half first, then dip the remaining naked half in ice-cold milk. Perfection.
Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe slightly adapted from my aunt Miriam in our Allred Family Cookbook. A quick note: the original recipe calls for 3/4 cup margarine. I substituted butter and shortening since that’s what I’m more likely to have on hand. Feel free to try it either way!
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 package chocolate candi-quik (like almond bark)
1 tablespoon shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat thoroughly, then mix in the peanut butter and vanilla until well combined. Add the salt, baking soda, and flour, and mix. The dough may seem too moist, but that’s how you want it.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (I used my Silpat instead of greasing). Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until they are just set and golden on the bottoms (the tops will, and should, appear somewhat unfinished) (every oven is different, but for me, the magic number was 8 minutes and 45 seconds). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.
In a small, deep bowl, melt the candi-quik and shortening in the microwave; stir until smooth. Dip each cookie halfway into the melted chocolate and lay on a wax paper-lined baking sheet, then cool in the refrigerator until chocolate has set.
I had some extra chocolate after dipping all my cookies, so I spread out some peanuts and cashews on wax paper and drizzled my leftover chocolate over them. So good!