Monday, January 10, 2005
Mondays with Maida - Chocolate Peanut-Butter Ripples
Page 32 in the old book / page 47 in the new book
I’m sort of copping out this week – these are cookies that I made and posted about a few months ago. I didn’t bake them again. Instead, I took the opportunity to work ahead a little and made next week’s cookies. So here is a little recap of the cookies that got me going on this project in the first place.
This week’s cookies are Chocolate and Peanut-Butter Ripples. They are thin, crisp cookies with a layer of peanut butter dough nestled between two chocolate layers. The cookies in the drawing that accompanies the recipe in the old book appear to have concentric circles of contrasting doughs: the bottom chocolate layer is the largest and is topped with a smaller layer of peanut butter which in turn is topped with another, smaller layer of chocolate.
The chocolate and peanut butter doughs are very simple and mix up quickly. The recipe calls for smooth peanut butter, but the only peanut butter I had on hand was the kind they grind in the grocery store, so I used that. I added a pinch of salt since there was none in the peanut butter. I was concerned that the consistency might cause some problems, but it seemed to work just fine. The flavor was great and the texture of the peanut butter layer was almost like the peanut butter in a Reese’s cup.
Assembling the cookies takes a little time, but is not difficult. You drop a small mound of chocolate dough, then top it with a small mound of the peanut butter dough, and cap that with another little mound of chocolate. The peanut butter dough was a little crumbly, so I shaped it with my fingers rather than dropping it from a teaspoon. The recipe suggests using a fork dipped in sugar to flatten the cookie, but I quickly abandoned that approach in favor of using a small plastic spatula. The chocolate dough was very soft and the fork, even though it was sugared, kept pulling off parts of the top layer that pushed up through the tines. You could also use a small glass – but a flat surface is definitely preferable to a fork. I would make one change next time – the recipe instructs you to divide the chocolate dough in half and use equal amounts in the bottom and top layers. I followed those directions this time and as you can see in the picture above, my cookies didn’t “ripple”. To achieve the concentric circles shown in the illustration, I think you would need to use more chocolate dough in the bottom layer and only a small amount in the top layer. It would also be interesting to see what would happen if you didn’t bother to flatten the cookies before baking them. I’ll bet they would spread just the same.
The cookies were delicious and despite the fact that the peanut butter appears to have all but disappeared from the outside, when you bite into one of the cookies there is a distinct layer of peanut butter. When I made these back in September, I gave them to my new next-door neighbors as a welcome gift. Good thing I got them out of the house – I think they could have been habit-forming!
Next week – The last chocolate drop cookie – Chocolate Peanut Cookies (hey Santos – they’re iced!)