Gourmandistan

Chocolate & peanut butter ripples across Atlantic, threatening Nutella domination.

Peanuts

Gourmandistan wants only to spread the love, so we must first say that we adore Nutella. Steve, particularly, has been a fan of filberts for as long as he can remember, and we’ve both appreciated schmears of the nutty stuff on crêpes purchased from Paris metro station vendors. But seriously, Europeans need to get better acquainted with peanut butter, one of those magic foodstuffs (like tomatoes, potatoes, pineapples and processed cheese product) brought to life in the New World. We generally have a jar of the stuff around at all times, and find all kinds of uses for it (Steve, especially, is not above snarfing a thick spoonful right out of the jar).

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Ripples

These cookies, from a 1977 Maida Heatter cookbook, are one example of how Gourmandistan does peanut butter. We’re not the first to find the combination of chocolate and peanut butter fabulous, nor will this likely be the last time we push this particular product on our global audience. Get hip to the mashed goober peas, European people—you don’t know what you’re missing.

Peanuts

CHOCOLATE & PEANUT BUTTER RIPPLES

  • Servings: about 30 cookies
  • Print

(adapted, slightly, from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies)

CHOCOLATE DOUGH:
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. sifted all-purpose flour

Melt chocolate in a small pan over low heat or, if you prefer, in a double boiler.  Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer.  Add vanilla, salt and sugar and continue to beat.  Add egg, then melted chocolate.  Scrape the bowl as necessary.  Gradually add the flour on low speed and mix just until smooth.

PEANUT BUTTER DOUGH:
  • 2 TB butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 TB all-purpose flour

In a small bowl, cream the butter with the peanut butter with an electric mixer.  Add the brown sugar and beat well.  Add flour, beating only until just mixed in.

Preheat oven to 325°.

Drop chocolate dough onto ungreased cookie sheets by level teaspoons, placed 2″ apart.  Flatten each cookie a bit with your fingers or with the back of a spoon. Top each chocolate disk with a level teaspoon of peanut butter dough.  Flatten.  Then top each cookie with another level teaspoon of chocolate dough, and flatten again.  It does not matter if the different doughs are exactly on top of each other.  If the cookies, particularly the peanut butter layers, are particularly ragged, shape into cleaner circles with your hands.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, turning cookie sheet from front to back midway through.  The cookies may look underdone, but they will crisp up a bit as they cool.

Cool the cookies briefly on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer with a metal spatula to a cooling rack.

These are very fragile cookies, particularly the peanut butter layers.  They freeze well.

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39 comments

  1. These cookies look very addictive. It’s the peanut butter-chocolate combo. I know I’d have little, if any, self-control once I pulled a batch out of the oven.
    And I can so identify with Steve. Last year, I discovered a company in New York that mixes chocolate with peanut butter. The result is rich chocolate that sticks to the roof of your mouth — and they have a mail order business. I could not pass through my kitchen without dipping my index finger into the jar. I eventually moved it to a high shelf. It wasn’t a fool-proof plan but it did prolong its shelf-life. :)

    • It’s a good thing I don’t work at home (like Steve does). We’d probably go through a case of peanut butter a week … and we haven’t even tried this chocolate/P.B. concoction you mention!

  2. Lovely pictures. Who doesn’t like peanut butter? Just such a good thing to have in the store cupboard. Never got the Nutella thing, though. French friends of ours just sit and eat a whole jar with a spoon whilst watching a box set on TV:)

  3. Valerie Timmons

    I’m with Mad Dog. Love all the ingredients in Nutella, but there’s way too much sugar in the stuff. It’s kinda nasty. Give me good ol’ crunchy, unsweetened peanut butter any day.

  4. My goodness, these cookies. I love peanut butter and chocolate so much that I am going to have to lie down now.

    (when I have sufficiently recovered I am going to make these, promise!)

  5. Great sounding cookies and who doesn’t like peanut butter…that is unless someone has never tried it. In that case, they don’t know what they are missing.

  6. I’ve had these cookies before and they are killer for those of us who find nothing juvenile or worth sneering at in the combination of pb and chocolate. I like Nutella, but that’s about as far as it goes, and these days I don’t expend any precious calories on it, but these cookies, let’s just lock the lid on the jar and only open it once a day, all right? Okay, maybe twice. Ken

    • :) I’ve been making these since I was a teenager. I have to admit (though we didn’t say it above) that the recipe may have worked better back when I used more industrial ingredients. They seem a little grainier now. Shhhhh. Don’t tell anybody I said that.

      • That makes sense. I mostly eat almond butter these days when I want something like pb, although I do eat good pb as well–but it’s definitely not processed to anything like the smoothness of mass production stuff. Ken

  7. Pingback: Holiday Cooking Disaster The Second - Far From Normal

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