Ovenly's peanut butter cookies, with chocolate

When Smitten Kitchen wrote about Ovenly's salted peanut butter cookies, I was left with an incredible urge to taste them.  
Sometimes a recipe, and the story, just calls out to you, and for various reasons, this is one of those I had to make quick.  I love peanut butter and I've enjoyed some great PB treats (like these monster cookies and sandwich cookies, for example) but there have surely been times when peanut butter baked goods fall short of the flavor mark and you end up thinking you would've been better off just slathering the good stuff on to your morning toast.

So these highly-touted cookies, which promised intense peanut butter flavor, had to be tried.  There was little standing in my way because they only require a few ingredients and hardly more than a bowl and whisk to do the job.
You do need an ice cream scoop.  Okay, you don't actually even need that but with all the talk about the shape of these cookies (domed) and the marks on them (striations made from scooping cold dough with an ice cream scoop), I was entranced by the whole thing.  Believe it or not, I even went out and bought a new ice cream scoop. For baking, I already had a 1/4-cup scoop and a #50 scoop, which equals to a little over a tablespoon.  The large one is usually too large and I've always thought the smaller one was just a little too small!  Deb used the #40 scoop (1 2/3 tablespoons) for these cookies and I realized that's what I've been missing so I went out and got one!
Grating a little chocolate to add to these peanut butter cookies
I went ahead and added chocolate to these flourless peanut butter cookies.  Typical of me.  While I know that chocolate probably wasn't necessary per se, I simply can't resist the notion of adding chocolate whenever I can.  And the result?  As Mary from The Great British Baking Show would say: "these are scrummy!"  That would be scrumptious or yummy...in other words, really good!
I was tempted to call these "peanut butter-chocolate truffles" because these little mounds (which look remarkably like large unshelled walnuts, actually) have this fudgy, moist texture very much like a truffle.  The outside is firm and slightly crisp, the inside is very moist and a little chewy.  The flavor is 100% peanut butter, with a hint of chocolate in my case.  If you like peanut butter cups, I think you'll be a fan of these cookies!


There are just a handful of ingredients standing in the way of you and these cookies.  
First, the peanut butter.  I used Skippy's natural creamy peanut butter.  At my house, it's Skippy's natural peanut butter in both creamy and chunky, as well as Trader Joe's chunky salted peanut butter that's always on hand.  

Once the peanut butter is whisked into the egg, brown sugar, and vanilla, I ended up with a thick batter you see below.
If you choose to add chocolate like I did, you really don't need more than about 1 1/2 ounces of it.  I decided to grate the semisweet chocolate that I added because I visualized little specks of chocolate running through these truffle-like cookies.  As I stirred, I realized that using too much chocolate really turns the entire cookie dark-brown and the chocolate kind of disappears into the whole thing.  So I held back on some of my chocolate and you should adjust depending on the effect you are going for.  
After chilling a little bit in the freezer, I scooped the cookie dough using my new #40 scoop.
For the cookies to bake up keeping their shape and dome better, freezing again for another 15 minutes is recommended.  That's what I did before sprinkling them with coarse sea salt and baking in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes.  
They really did maintain their shape and marks very well after baking.  But if you're not concerned with precisely how they look - that is, you don't care that they're not quite so tall or that they don't have those ridge marks on top, you can save time and bypass the chilling part and scoop/bake away.  It was fun trying to make the cookies as instructed to get the Ovenly look but I wouldn't say it's necessary.  
And the cookies hold quite nicely for about 3 days as far as I can tell.  I placed the fully cooled leftover cookies (there were a few because we try to practice restraint here) in an airtight jar.  Throughout the next couple of days, we grabbed one and enjoyed the firm, somewhat crisp exterior, and the oh-so-moist and fudgy peanut butter center!  
I really liked these cookies, maybe a little too much!  

Recipe:

Ovenly's Peanut Butter Cookies, with Grated Chocolate
From Ovenly via Smitten Kitchen, adapted to include chocolate

- Makes approximately 15 cookies (using a #40, 1 2/3 tablespoon, scoop); this is half the original recipe -

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (168g) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225g) smooth peanut butter*
1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated through the largest opening of a box grater
Coarse sea salt, to finish

* For the best final shape and texture, a smooth, thick processed peanut butter like Skippy is recommended.  I used Skippy's natural creamy peanut butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and egg together until smooth.  Whisk in vanilla, then peanut butter, until smooth and totally incorporated.  Stir in grated chocolate using a rubber spatula.  You should have a thick batter.

To get the striations across the top of the cookies, chill dough in the freezer for 15 minutes, stirring once (to avoid the edges getting too hard).  In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

I used a #40 (1 2/3 tablespoon) ice cream scoop but you can make the cookies in another size or use spoons to portion out the dough.  Drop cookie dough mounds onto prepared baking sheet.  For the cookies to maintain the tallest shape, freeze for another 15 minutes before sprinkling tops with sea salt and baking for 14-15 minutes (adjust time for other size cookies; they are done when sides are slightly golden).

Let cool on baking sheet a couple of minutes before transferring cookies onto a cooling rack.  Let cool to room temperature before serving.  This way, you get the contrast of the slightly crisp exterior and moist-fudgy center.

Store fully-cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days, if they last that long.





28 comments:

  1. Oh my - these have my attention too! I love chocolate and peanut butter but the "scooped" look of these cookies is fascinating. Love these Monica! So smart to add chocolate - always add chocolate in my cookbook!

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    1. I know you like peanut butter cookies, Tricia...these are so moist and stuffed with peanut butter flavor. The brown sugar just sort of melds with the pb. I think you'd like them. The marks were interesting...mine look like half unshelled walnuts! : )

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  2. Awesome cookies! And adding chocolate is just brilliant :D

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    1. Thanks! I hardly ever can say no to chocolate. ; )

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  3. Peanut butter and chocolate...the combination couldn't be better, Monica. I just love how moist texture and 'walnuty' look!

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    1. haha - looks like a big unshelled walnut - so true! Thanks, Angie.

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  4. Oh my goodness, you have my full attention with these cookies too! I love how perfectly scooped they look and that you added chocolate :) Peanut butter and chocolate is the best combo! I wish I had a few of these with my cup of tea right now!

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    1. These 'simple' peanut butter cookies are so good, Kelly. Melts in your mouth, taking you to peanut butter heaven. : ) I don't think the chocolate hurt either. ; )

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  5. Wow, these look awesome! I went out and bought a new ravioli stamp after seeing a recipe once- that's what food'll do to you :)

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    1. haha - I can relate, that's for sure!! : )

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  6. Oh gosh! These cookies look heavenly, Monica. Peanut butter dishes are always good. Wish I could have 3-4 of these right away. Have a beautiful weekend.

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    1. These are so very peanut buttery, Anu. Great for a peanut butter lover! Enjoy the weekend. It's supposed to be a nice one where we are...hope it's the same for you!

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  7. I just love cookies that don't require me to take out my mixer! Well, for those occasions when a cookie emergency strikes :) haha Happy happy weekend Monica!!

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    1. Right?! As much as I love my mixer, there is something so very alluring about a recipe you can make without it. Have a great weekend, Ashley! I know you'll make and eat something tasty. : )

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  8. Ooh these sound awesome and I love the look of them too! So clever :D

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    1. Those ladies at Ovenly are clearly very clever. : )

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  9. Gosh these peanut butter cookies look absolutely gorgeous and definitely "scrummy"! hehe, I'm a total fan of the look of these cookies, and the added touch of chocolate -- can't go wrong there! Hope you're having a good weekend!

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    1. Yes, 'scrummy' is what popped right into my mind! haha...watching too much cooking show TV over here! :)

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  10. I know what you mean about a recipe calling out to you . These look irresistable!!

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    1. I'm glad I answered the call and made these. ; )

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  11. Oh I know what you mean about the size of ice cream scoop! I only have the 1/4-cup one, can't wait to get another one! These peanut butter cookies is so chockful of peanut butter and I wish I can have some of them now!

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    1. The 1/4 cup is too big for "at-home" cookies, I find...the #40 is perfect for a more reasonable, medium size, cookie. : ) Thanks, Jasline.

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  12. Wow! I have to make these amazing cookies. A handful of ingredients can turn into such a delicious treat. I love the way they look too!

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    1. I love a recipe with a few ingredients. I love to bake and cook but not necessarily work on one thing for a long time. : )

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  13. These look delicious - they look like little scoops of ice cream! You can't beat peanut butter + chocolate!

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    1. They really do, especially the cookie dough! I have a feeling these are the kind of cookies I'll be thinking about and craving frequently. It has a memorable flavor. : )

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  14. Hi Monica, peanut butter cups are my favorite sweets, I know I would love these. Perfect for the holidays.

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    1. I have come to love peanut butter (more so than when I was a kid)...these cookies hit the spot!

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