I know - I'm on a blogging marathon these days. I'm so far behind and so many good things to share before the holidays hit us. This Magic in the Middle Cookie from King Arthur Flour is one of the "must do" cookies for the holidays. Although it's probably been around forever, it's a new addition to my cookie list for this year.
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for dredging)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
PEANUT BUTTER FILLING
3/4 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, your choice
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2. To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
3. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine, then
4. stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.
5. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectionersâ€™ sugar until smooth.
6. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.
7. To shape the cookies: Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough (a lump about the size of a walnut), make an indentation in the center with your finger and place one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation.
8. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together cover the center;
9. roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
10. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
11. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, and use it to flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.
12. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they're set and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.
Tips from the King Arthur Flour Bakers:
The most reliable way to make sure you have equal amounts of filling and chocolate dough is to use a cookie scoop. Our teaspoon scoop yields exactly 26 fillings when scooped with the dough level across the top. Our tablespoon scoop when filled level will yield exactly 26 chocolate blobs of dough to match.
If you're doubling this recipe, add an extra egg to the chocolate dough.
If you're making this dough ahead of time, add an 2 tablespoons of milk to the chocolate dough. It tends to dry out as it sits, and the extra moisture will keep the outside dough from cracking as you form the cookies.