Other people’s recipes: Fritz Knipschildt’s Chocolate–Peanut Butter Cookies

I should have gone out for a long bike ride today, but instead I’m writing about some chocolate-chip peanut-butter cookies I made on Saturday. At least that means I’m very nearly caught up with my posting backlog (well, except for Reykjavik). This recipe comes from Danish chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt’s Chocopologie (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015), co-written with Mary Goodbody. The name of the book comes from Knipschildt’s line of confections and former bakery-cafe in Norwalk, Connecticut, and while all of the recipes either feature chocolate or are intended to accompany chocolate, the book is rather more on the bakery side than confectionery. I’ve made a brownie recipe from this book before, but this is the first of his drop-cookie recipes I’ve tried. He calls them “chocolate–peanut butter cookies” (p. 25), but I’d say “chocolate chip–peanut butter” would be more accurate.

Mise en place
Let’s start as usual with the mise en place. This book is unfortunately one of those that includes only volumetric measurements; I used nutrition labels and Harold McGee to determine measurements by mass for the ingredients where it matters. Clockwise from top left: 85 g of unsalted butter, 128 g of smooth peanut butter, one large egg, ½ cup (120 ml) of vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract (½ tbl is used here), 240 g of all-purpose flour, 120 g of confectioner’s sugar, a 10 oz (280 g) bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, some leaveners, and 120 g of light brown sugar. The small bowl of leaveners contains ½ tsp each of baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Egg-oil emulsion
While the butter, peanut butter, and sugars are being creamed together in the stand mixer, the egg and oil are whisked together to form an emulsion.

Creamy batter before adding dry ingredients
The egg-oil emulsion is then stirred into the creamed butters and sugars until fully incorporated. The remaining dry ingredients (except chips) are stirred together and then slowly added to the wet ingredients just until fully combined.

Peanut butter batter before folding in chips
Once the peanut-butter dough comes together (and you could stop here and have a pretty decent peanut-butter cookie, or perhaps mix in chopped peanuts to complete the effect), it will be quite stiff. The mini chocolate chips are then folded in by hand with a rubber spatula. Knipschildt calls for 1¾ cups of mini chips, but I figured that a 12 oz bag is usually “2 cups” (whether it actually is or not), so a 10 oz bag like the Ghirardelli chips I was using was probably close enough to the right amount, and this is not a part of the recipe where proportions matter quite so much. At this point I had some other things to do, and packed the dough into a small mixing bowl, covered it with plastic wrap, and left it in the fridge for several hours. The recipe doesn’t call for resting like this, but many cookie doughs benefit from the extra time.

Dough after refrigerating several hours
After resting, the dough is even firmer but yet still rather crumbly. I measured the overall yield of this recipe as 1080 g (perhaps it might even be closer to 1100 g if you don’t taste-test any of the dough while preparing it), which for the stated yield of 22–24 cookies suggests a portion size of about 50 g. I settled on using a #40 disher, which gave me somewhat smaller 45 g portions rather than the 55–60 g portions I got from a #30 disher.

45-gram dough balls, squashed flat, on cookie sheet
Because the dough had been in the refrigerator and was quite stiff, I expected it to be necessary to squash the dough balls by hand before baking — if you just bake the cookies straight off this is probably unnecessary. You can easily fit twelve on a standard cookie sheet, as these cookies don’t spread much. They go in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 12 minutes — mine never got “golden brown” as the recipe calls for, but they were definitely done all the same.

Baked cookies cooling on rack
Fully baked, the cookies don’t look all that different from before baking. They need to cool on the cookie sheet (on a wire rack) for a few minutes to allow the starches to set, otherwise they will fall apart when you try to move them. Once set, they can be transferred to a wire rack.

Full batch of cookies continuing to cool
My overall impression (having eaten a few of these by now) is that they are, like most peanut butter cookies, quite tender, almost shortbread-like in their crumbliness. I would have preferred something a bit more on the moist and chewy side, and with more chocolate flavor (that last defect might be due to short-dated chocolate chips I used). They’re still not bad, and I’ll be bringing them in to work to ensure that I don’t eat them all.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cookie (45g before cooking)
Servings per recipe: about 24
Amount per serving
Calories 232 Calories from fat 123
% Daily Value
Total Fat 14​g 21%
 Saturated Fat 5​g 23%
Trans Fat 0​g
Cholesterol 15​mg 5%
Sodium 109​mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 27​g 9%
 Dietary fiber 2​g 6%
 Sugars 16​g
Proteins 4​g 8%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1%
Iron 5%
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