It’s been a while since I posted an article, the reason being that the only time I have had left after the day is done is go to sleep. I’m sure you know what I mean! But last weekend, we took a break from it all and treated ourselves. It must have been the rainiest day of the year. We went out (what a miracle!) for an evening of music to see the last season concert of the National Philharmonic. The performance was held at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland. The modern concert hall seats 1,976 and has 3 tiers. We had seats in the orchestra pit which was fascinating for the kids since we were so close to the stage. (But actually, for all of you physics buffs, the music was a little muffled. Next time, we’ll need to get tickets for seats that are towards the back!!!). The concert paid tribute to the 100th Anniversary of Poland regaining its independence after WWI from the German, Austrian, and Russian Empires. The Philharmonic played works by Chopin, Debski, and Szymanowski, featuring piano and vocal soloists plus a full-blown choir. At the Strathmore concert, the main attraction for us was Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 performed by Brian Gantz with Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk conducting, a powerhouse conductor. Brian Gantz is on the faculty of Peabody Music Institute in Baltimore and has made it his quest to perform all of Chopin’s works. We were at one of his solo concerts at the Strathmore last year, which was marvelous. Click on this link for his performance of Chopin’s famous Nocturne in B Flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1. Gorgeous music!
Back to baking. . . . I’ve still been baking every weekend despite my absence from the blog. I have a back-log of recipes that I’d like to get posted over the next few weeks. This is one of them, and one of my favorite. I’m calling it, “Double Chocolate PB Foldover Cookies.” Would Chopin have loved it? Probably not–I read somewhere that his favorite food was beef roll-ups. I still have hope that he had a sweet tooth. Impossible to have written such beautiful music without also having a sweet tooth!
So this cookie–which I dreamed up on the fly–is basically a chewy double chocolate chip cookie with a smooth peanut butter filling. It is not only delicious, but, for those interested in shelf-life issues, it also doesn’t go stale very quickly. The cookies can sit around for up to 4 days and still taste great. For peanut butter lovers and chewy chocolate chip cookie lovers, this one is for you!!
How to make it: First (after turning on the oven to preheat), combine the dry ingredients so that you are ready to go when its time to add them to the wet ingredients. The dry ingredients I am talking about are flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. (No salt).
Then cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer as you would usually do when making chocolate chip cookies. Cream until light and fluffy for just a couple of minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time to ensure the eggs are emulsified into the butter-sugar mixture.
Mix in the creamy peanut butter. There is so much fat from the egg yolks and peanut butter that I was worried the mixture would curdle, but that didn’t happen.
On low-speed, gradually add in the flour mixture. Do this quickly because you don’t want to overmix the dough. In fact, chocolate chips are added to the mixture, so before the flour mixture is completely incorporated, you must stop the mixer, add in the chips, then complete the mixing process.
Off to the side, you need to quickly put together the peanut butter filling, which is simply a mixture of peanut butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract.
Mixing with a spoon does the trick to make the mixture smooth.
Now comes the hardest part to describe in writing, though not too tough to pull off in reality. Form small balls of dough by briefly rolling pieces of dough in the palms of your hands (about 1 tablespoon of dough) and then form a “well” in the center of each ball with your thumb.
Dollop a teaspoon of peanut butter filling into the center of each well.
Then fold the dough over to sandwich the peanut filling. I find this easiest to do by basically bringing the two sides together at once (sort of “squeezing” the two sides together).
You could decide to not fold over the dough, but the look, taste, and texture of the baked cookies is different, and really not as good if you ask me. Below is the end result of cookies that weren’t folded over.
So back to making the foldover cookies: Space the cookies on the pan a little further than you would normally for chocolate chip cookies. I fit nine on my pan.
Into the oven they go for about 11 minutes. They spread a bit–but a little bit of spreading is a good thing in this case!
Put the baked cookies on a wire rack to cool.
Let cool completely before serving. Trust me–the cookies taste much better after they have completely cooled to room temperature (unlike chocolate chip cookies!).
These are a GEM!! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum…….