Soft, Thick Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Soft, thick chocolate chunk cookies made with brown butter and infused with peanut butter.
I spent a few hours, the first couple weeks of summer at a Świetlica, which is a centre for children (under the age of 14) who either have learning disabilities or dysfunctional families, (e.g. parents addicted to alcohol, single, unemployed parents, etc). Świetlicas are located around Warsaw and get funding from the government. I’ve been going to this place every Thursday since February, but went more frequently during the summer. It wasn’t just me going (thankfully)- a few of my classmates joined in as well. I say thankfully because I am by no means a native Polish speaker, embarrassing as that is- considering how long I’ve lived here. During the year, I found it difficult to communicate with the kids. This summer; however, I found that language wasn’t a problem at all.
Through my broken Polish, smiles and gestures, I was able to talk to them and laugh. A lot. I never thought I was much of a ‘kid’ person, but I really enjoyed working and playing with them. We even went to a water park- it felt so good when this little boy grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the water slide. I mentioned before that it was difficult to engage or interact with them. I got an ‘I don’t like you” vibe. But eventually they warmed up to me. What I think what might have won them over are these cookies. After a game of Capture the Flag in sweltering heat, we went inside and I pulled these brown butter peanut butter chocolate chip cookies out. One of the girls told me they were better than what you would find in a bakery. And Polish bakeries are good. Maybe I misunderstood her (just kidding). Also, little kids are brutally honest- from what I know, so it isn’t an empty compliment.
I had been eyeing Jenny from Picky Palate’s recipe for a while- I’d never made a brown butter cookie before and the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and brown butter almost spoke to me. I had the tab lying open for weeks so I decided to try them out. They are puffy, incredibly soft, full of chocolate and a rich peanut butter flavor. I like that they aren’t too sweet. In terms of appearance, the cookies resemble miniature domes- which accounts for their thick interior. Next time, I might throw in chopped peanuts for a slightly crunchy texture- or use chunky peanut butter in place of smooth.
When I went to the świetlica a couple days later, some of the kids ‘demanded’ that I bring in the same cookies next time. I call that success.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup chocolate chunks (I used a combination of dark and milk chocolate)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the butter into a small saucepan over medium-high heat and let it melt and bubble away until it turns a brown, amber color. It isn’t necessary that you stir it, but I like to swirl the pan. This takes between 5 and 10 minutes. Little charred bits will surface.
- Cool the butter in the refrigerator for several minutes or until it is warm and close to room temperature.
- Pour the butter in a medium sized bowl and add the sugars, whisking till incorporated.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and continue to stir until fluffy.
- Next, add the peanut butter. The batter should thicken slightly.
- Whisk in the salt and baking soda, then gradually add in the flour, switching to a spatula if you need to.
- Once everything is incorporated, fold in the chocolate chunks.
- Scoop tablespoon sized mounds of dough spread an inch apart on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
adapted from Picky Palate