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Monday, March 16, 2009

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I'm discovering there are oh-so-many ways to pair peanut butter with chocolate into something outrageously yummy. I took a BHG recipe and tweaked the ingredients here and there. When they came out they smelled like peanut euphoria but looked just too plain. Nothing a quick dip in melted chocolate couldn't fix!

I added a small amount of vegetable shortening to the chocolate; it gives the chocolate a sheen and helps prevent blooming when it cools. Don't add much - no more than a teaspoon - or else the chocolate will be too soft and you'll get a slight shortening taste, which you DON'T want. And if you're opposed to shortening altogether, leave it out.

This makes a stiff dough that doesn't spread much while cooking, so you have to shape it before it goes in the oven. If you want a rounded shape like a ball, make a ball or use a cookie scoop. If you want a flatter cookie , smash it with a fork or glass before cooking. I shaped each ball of dough into a patty using my hands before placing on the cookie sheet.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped salted roasted and/or honey roasted peanuts
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or about 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 tsp vegetable shortening (optional)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for at least 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; beat until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in the flour. Stir in the oats and peanuts.

2. Place balls or discs of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment or silicone. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to rest on baking sheet 1 minute before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

3. Place chocolate chips and vegetable shortening in a microwave save bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Remove, stir well, and heat again for 20 seconds, repeating until chips are almost all melted. Stir until smooth. Do not overheat chocolate. Dip cooled cookies halfway in chocolate, allowing extra chocolate to drip off into the bowl. Dip in more chopped peanuts if desired.

Mmm...desired is a good word for these cookies.

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