Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Smooches

This year, since we are keeping it simple, for Christmas each of us got to pick his favorite Christmas cookie. Doug's choice was Peanut butter kisses. I love these cookies, but am not a fan of how grainy the chocolate is when using Hershey's Kisses and there's never enough peanut butter in the cookie.

However, Rose Levy Beranbaum, in her cookbook Rose's Christmas Cookies has an outstanding version of these classic treats that brings their flavor to a new level. The cookies are super peanut buttery and the chocolate is smooth and luxurious like chocolate truffles. YUM!

I share this recipe with you here. I call them Chocolate and Peanut Butter Smooches because smooches are way better than kisses any day!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Smooches

1 cup all purpose flour (I use White Lilly)
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Filling:
8oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
8 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Combine flour and salt and baking soda together in a small bowl, whisk to combine, then sift. In a mixing bowl, combine sugars and beat until well-mixed. Add the butter and peanut butter and beat for several minutes until very smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. At low speed, gradually add the flour mix and mix until just incorporated. Remove dough from bowl, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Make a small indentation in the center of each ball with your finger or the end of a greased wooden spoon handle. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

When cookies come out of oven, allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two (they are fragile). While they are cooling on the sheet, using a spoon or wooden spoon handle, gently press down center indentation of each cookie. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Make Chocolate filling by placing chocolate chips in a large glass bowl. Microwave on high 15 seconds at a time, stirring with a fork, until chocolate is just melted. Do not overcook chocolate! once chocolate is melted and smooth, add butter and whisk until smooth. Transfer chocolate to a large plastic freezer bag and allow to cool until thick, but still pliable. Snip a corner off the bag and pipe chocolate into the center off each cookie. Allow chocolate filling to completely set before packing for storage between layers of waxed paper.

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