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).
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.
CHOCOLATE & PEANUT BUTTER RIPPLES
(adapted, slightly, from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies) (makes about 30 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.