Thursday, June 21, 2012

CRAZY RICHARD’S PEANUT BUTTER-MILK CHOCOLATE TOFFEE CHUNK COOKIES WITH SALTED CHOCOLATE GANACHE

collosal pb cookies (3)

I’ve been experimenting again.  This time, I took a recipe for a phenomenally crisp cookie with chewy insides and made it with unadulturated natural peanut butter, partially whole wheat flour and some coffee flavoring.   The whole wheat flour softened the edges, and the cookies desperately needed some more salt and sugar.  Not to be dismayed, I covered them in chocolate ganache and sprinkled them with coarse sea salt.  The cookies totally came to life and were amazing!  Adding the sea salt to the tops makes up for the deficiency of salt in the cookie, itself.  Of course, you could also increase the salt in the cookie batter if, for some insane reason, you didn't want chocolate ganache.  (Is there really anyone who would opt out of chocolate ganache?)
014
I used Crazy Richard's peanut butter that I bought at my local Harris Teeter grocery store.  It's just roasted, ground peanuts with no salt, sugar or partially hydrogenated oils added.  For the ganache, I used Callebaut dark chocolate blocks that I bought at The Fresh Market in Greenville for a good price.

These cookies are large, sturdy and extremely satisfying, and I highly recommend this recipe.  Even though I’m not usually a fan of soft cookies, these are the bomb and I’ll definitely make them again and again.  Be warned, though:  these are hip huggers, so don't overindulge.

Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter-Milk Chocolate Toffee Chunk Cookies with Salted Chocolate Ganache
Rating:  10 out of 10

Click for PRINTABLE PAGE

COOKIES: 
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Diamond kosher salt or table salt 
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 oz.) unsalted butter
1 cup natural unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp. Nu Naturals Stevia) 
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. coffee liqueur mixed with 1/4 tsp. instant coffee
2 (3.5 oz. each) Ghiradelli chocolate luxe milk toffee bars, chopped, (or other milk chocolate of choice) (about 1-1/3 cups)
Chocolate ganache (recipe follows)
1-1/2 tsp. or more coarse sea salt or flake kosher salt for tops

CHOCOLATE GANACHE: 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups chopped good-quality dark chocolate

colossal PB toffee cookies (3)
In medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat butter and peanut butter at medium speed till smooth.  Gradually beat in sugars, then eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Beat in coffee flavoring.  At low speed, gradually beat in the dry ingredients, then the chopped milk chocolate.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30-45 minutes, till dough has firmed up. 

(You can also form the dough balls, using 1/4 cup batter for each, freeze them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 2 hours, then place them in a freezer bag.  You can either bake the whole batch at once, or take out however many dough balls as you want at a time.  You can bake them frozen for about 15 minutes, or thaw and bake following instructions below.) colossal PB toffee cookies

Heat the oven to 350F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or ice cream scoop, form dough into balls, then slightly flatten into 2-1/2” disks.  Bake on center rack of oven about 18-20 minutes. or till golden around edges but still soft in center.  they will firm up as they cool, and they’re much better when slightly underdone.  (You can also test with a toothpick for doneness, removing cookies when toothpick inserted near center returns with some crumbs.)  

When cookies cool, place them in freezer while making ganache.  (Having the cookies partially or completely frozen will enable the ganche to set up much more quickly.)  In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the heavy cream till steaming.  Remove from heat; stir in the chopped chocolate until smooth.  Cool slightly, then, using desired amount for each cookie, spread some ganache over tops.  Sprinkle with salt.  Let ganache set up.  (These cookies freeze well.  Any leftover ganache can be refrigerated for future use.) 
Yield:  about 21 large cookies 

4 comments:

glutenfreehappytummy.com said...

love love LOVE this recipe! i could totally go for one right now!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

If I lived next door, I'd be over for cookies and tea! What a delicious recipe! I know my husband would LOVE these!

Judy said...

Ocean, I wish you lived next door, too. Not only could you come over for cookies and tea, we could also talk about food!

Coleens Recipes said...

Richard doesn't sound so crazy to me, these sound delicious.