I strongly believe that this is the world's most dangerous cookie, 'cause if you like peanut butter you couldn't manage to break away from these delicacies so easily and, considering their intake of butter (milk one and peanut one), they can't be considered light cookies, suitable for a diet … but who cares?!
My premise was, in fact, if you like peanut butter, 'cause I know that this ingredient is not appreciated by all palates, especially Italian ones.
Until a few years ago I saw peanut butter only in American movies or TV series, and often I asked myself "but Americans put it everywhere?!" (I am referring especially to the frequent images of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches). But, being an ingredient so hard to find in Italy, I had given up the understanding, and I had to put aside my skepticism and my curiosity.
Then, during the summer holidays of 2007, spent among the green hills of Umbria and Lake Trasimeno, areas with a high rate of tourists from Germany, England and other northern European countries, we found in a supermarket the famous and feared peanut butter, produced by a company well known in Italy for sauces and condiments, the "Calvè". Could we possibly back down from this challenge?! Never! So, moved by the immense love for peanuts and a great curiosity, we bought the mysterious jar and we got ready to tasting …
Needless to say, if today I propose you a recipe using this ingredient, which has nothing to do with Italy (even if someone told me me that there is a production Made in Italy, in Catania), peanut butter conquered me … certainly I couldn't enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I'm loyal to bread, butter -milk one- and jam, bread, butter and sugar that reminds me of my childhood, or a fresh and healthy bread and tomatoes), but I admit that occasionally I like to eat some peanut butter, even only on a teaspoon! And, now that Italy peanut butter is much easier to find (you can find it in any well-stocked supermarket or hyper market), it arrives into my pantry easily.
The recipe that I propose today is taken, once again, from the Brussels sprout … and if the peanut butter (just the Calvé one that I mentioned: therefore I suspect that Calvé produces it for Countries such as Belgium, Holland and Germany) reminded Sigrid of her childhood, it reminds me of a wonderful and relaxing holiday in a Italian region that I truly love for its beauty, its hospitality, its peace and its food (I still dream about "pici" with duck ragout and "torta al testo").
PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS COOKIES
Ingredients (3 or 4 baking pan full of cookies)
* a whole egg
* 90 g granulated sugar
* 90 g brown sugar
* 110 g melted unsalted butter, already cooled down
* 150 g peanut butter (smooth o crunchy, as you prefer)
* 200 g all purpose flour
* a tsp baking powder
* a pinch of salt
* 100 g chocolate chips (or, if you do like me, some Easter eggs leftover chopped into small pieces): dark or milk chocolate, as you prefer
Beat with electric whisk the egg with the two types of sugar and the melted unsalted butter, already cooled down. When you obtain a smooth mix, stir in the peanut butter. Now add flour, baking powder and salt, sifting them. Mix well and then add the chocolate chips.
Knead briefly by hand and form sausages of 3-4 cm in diameter, envelop them in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
After this time, pull out the sausages from the fridge and, in the meantime, preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C).
Cut the sausages into slices about 1 cm thick (you'll have round cookies, then) and arrange them on baking pan covered with parchment paper (or nonstick pans) well spaced, because they will expand much during cooking!
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown (be careful not to overcook the cookies: if they are too brown, they could taste burned). Once removed from the oven, they still will be very soft (it's normal, don't worry), so wait for them to cool down and then gently detach them from the pan and place them in a tin box, so that they remain fragrant for a long time … if they resist for a long time!