Looking for Valentine’s Day ideas, how about chocolate in the form of a gigantic cookie? Like the other Levain copy cats, these are big, fat, and have fudgy soft centers. The chocolate peanut butter chip cookies I tried in New York were very dark, and I’ve found this recipe to be very similar — especially when made with a dark Dutch processed cocoa powder. The ones in this picture were made with natural style, and while they were still very good, the Dutch processed ones were even better.
Updated Picture (Made with Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder)
The other nice thing about this recipe is that it’s perfect for making ahead. Bake the cookies, wrap tightly and freeze. The texture improves!
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold, European style butter, chopped**
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups (10.1 ounces) King Arthur Bread Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (increase to scant 1 if butter is unsalted)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 cups (2 ounces) Hershey’s Dark Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 cup extra dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup Reese's peanut butter chips
- If you're going to bake right away, preheat the oven to 350 F convection or 375F regular.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cold butter until it is creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until it is mixed in. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating with the paddle on medium until mixed, scraping sides of bowl once or twice. The coolness from the eggs should make the butter seize up again so the creamy mixture will appear lumpy.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix in the cocoa. With the mixer on medium-low (or by hand with a heavy duty rubber scraper), gradually add the flour mixture stirring just until mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips peanut butter chips.
- Empty the batter onto a large flat surface and make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Instead of lumping it all together, keep it kind of loose. Divide into 12 raggedy pieces. The dough should be cold before you even put it in the refrigerator, but chilling the dough will help make the cookies taller. I’ve also had good results freezing the dough and baking it from frozen.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. If you are using convection, preheat to 350 F convection.
- Arrange cookies (I recommend baking 1 or 2 first to nail down your time) on a heavy duty cookie sheet.
- Put the cookies in the 375 degree oven, close the door and set the timer.
- Immediately turn heat down to 350 and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes or until cookies appear set.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove and finish cooling on a rack. When cool, you can eat OR you can freeze the cookie and thaw them for a better texture.