Friday, September 5, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies

When you can’t decide between two different cookies, I think it’s only fair to compromise.  Make a little of both and simply twist them into an interesting Rohrschach Test collection.  And since chocolate and peanut butter are such good buddies, I co-mingle them here in this very-easy-except-for-the-dishwashing recipe. 

When you work in a professional pastry kitchen, one of your best buddies is always the dishwasher.  They are in charge of keeping all our bowls, sheet pans, utensils and tools squeaky clean and are usually cranking on full-speed to keep up with production.  They are the people who make everything possible.  Any kitchen worth its salt knows and recognizes the value of a good dishwasher.

This twist is basically two separate cookies that are melded together to form one delicious taste of both.  Although it requires a few bowls to get the job done, by all means, don’t let that hinder your progress.  These soft and chewy bites are the best of both worlds, a worthy compromise.

Bench notes:
- This is a recipe where you have to make sure to keep your mise en place separate for each dough.  That’s where all the bowls come in!
- This recipe makes a lot of cookies.  You can store well-wrapped logs in the freezer for later.  I’ve also halved the recipe.  To divide the egg, I scramble it and then split it in half using a scale.  Most large eggs are about 54 grams, so I use about 27 grams for each dough.  Sounds crazy but it works.
- When mixed, the doughs will be too soft to shape, so chill them both until they feel like they can withstand handling, about an hour or two.  Work quickly to form the logs then chill again when the logs are formed.  I usually leave the logs to chill overnight or a couple of days.
- I work with four pieces of 8” x 12” parchment to form and shape the dough into four 8” logs, use it to roll up the logs and then wrap with a layer of plastic to chill.  You can also divide each dough in half and form just two logs that are about 11 1/2” if that’s easier for you to handle. 
- When I’m done with a roll of paper towels, I take the cardboard cylander and use a box cutter or pair of scissors to cut it open. I slip the formed and wrapped cookie logs into the cardboard and then chill.  This helps to keep the round shape.
- Cookies will be soft to the touch when they are removed from the oven but firm up as they cool.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen cookies

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 oz) flour                                     
3/4 teaspoon baking soda                                   
1/2 teaspoon baking powder                   
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter @ room temperature              
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (2 3/4 oz) dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) granulated sugar                                            
1 cup (9 oz) chunky peanut butter                                   
1 large egg @ room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla                                                              
1/2 cup (2 oz) roasted & salted peanuts, chopped (optional)                                   

Chocolate Cookie Dough

1 cup (5 oz) flour                                                                 
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter @ room temperature 
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (4 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
1 large egg @ room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla                                         
1/2 cup (3 oz) chocolate chips                                                     

For the peanut butter dough, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Cream butter and sugars until light, about 2 – 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Scrape down the bowl. Add the egg and mix until thoroughly blended. Add dry ingredients (and chopped peanuts, if using) and mix until there are no streaks of flour, scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and chill until firm enough to handle, about 2 – 3 hours.

For the chocolate dough, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars until light, about 2 – 3 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until thoroughly blended.   Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips and mix until there are no streaks of flour, scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and chill until firm enough to handle, about 2 – 3 hours.

When the dough has been chilled, divide each packet in four equal pieces.  Press each piece into a flattened log about 7” long.  Work with one piece of each cookie dough at a time, placing the remaining logs in the refrigerator to keep them chilled. 

Take one of each log and stack them together.  Gently twist them a few times until they are fairly marbled.  Roll into an 8” log.  Wrap tightly and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.  Repeat with remaining dough.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
Use a sharp knife to cut cookie log into 1/2” slices.  Place them about 2” apart on baking sheets.  Bake for 13 - 15 minutes.  Cool baking sheets on wire rack until cookies are firm enough to remove.   Store the cookies in an airtight container.


Heather said...

Love the swirl!

Anonymous said...

By no means halve the recipe! You'll deeply regret it. I took these to work and they were gone before I could taste any. Luckily there are spares in the freezer:)

pastry studio said...

Oh, that's very cool! Glad you put some cookie dough away for yourself. Enjoy!

Bryan said...

These were so fun to make! Two times the flavor in one cookie. I'm sold.
Thank you!