There's quite a bit going on with these ones. They're quite a bit darker than your average chocolate chip cookie and taste like caramel and peanut butter, but in a way that works. The caramel taste comes from the browned butter and the molasses which I love because usually caramel adds too much sweetness. I want the flavor of caramel without all the tooth pain. What I did with this recipe makes it happen!
The beauty of browned butter is that you can pretty much use it with any cookie recipe that you want a little more flavor. Simple dimple.
I learned an awesome trick from Dorie's Baking book that I now apply to nearly every chocolate chip recipe: Different sizes of chocolate pieces! So, even if I'm being 'lazy' and using chocolate chips, I give them a little chop so I have many different sizes. That way, every bite has chocolate in it. Some have large chunks and some just a swirl. This could change your life. You must try it.
I pretty much always reduce the sugar when working with other people's recipes and if it calls for brown sugar, I use my little molasses trick. My molasses is blackstrap, so feel free to reduce to just 1 teaspoon if you're unsure about your final result.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted slightly from this talented lady
Makes about 24 cookies
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional for topping
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses (could use as little as 1 teaspoon for a more subtle flavor)
1 tablespoon honey
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whipping cream or whole milk
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, cut into varying-sized pieces
Using a whisk, combine flour, baking soda, powder, sea salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, whisking constantly until it turns a light caramel color (it will smell like caramel as well), then immediately transfer to your mixing stand bowl and let cool for a few minutes.
Add the peanut butter to your stand mixer bowl and combine with the butter until smooth and uniform.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and molasses, squishing it and mixing it together with a fork. It will look like dark brown sugar and should be moist with no chunks of molasses. Add this to the peanut butter mixture and mix until combined.
Finally, add the honey, egg, vanilla extract, and whipping cream. Stir until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir.
Let the dough firm up in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 F.
On an ungreased cookie sheet, place tablespoon-sized pieces of cookie dough about 1-2 inches apart. If you need to, use your hands to tuck in any stray tails of dough so the dough is round on your pan. Flatten each ball with your palm slightly and sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies look dry, but the center is still slightly shiny.
Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before moving to a drying rack to finish cooling.