Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

“I know, I know,” Min said. “Talking about food is boring.”

“Talking about food is great,” Cal said, taking a breadstick. “Talking about nothaving food is boring.”

Jennifer Crusie, “Bet Me”


I dug that book out recently because it makes me laugh. It’s funny, snarky, totally over-the-top romantic comedy, but the dialogue, as with most of Jennifer Crusie’s early books, is snappy and witty and awesome. And there are a lot of snippets that make you think.

In Bet Me, the heroine suffers from an emotional self-flagellation malady regarding her eating habits that befalls all women at one point or another. Eating, for her, is extremely emotional. It’s full of guilt and sin and indulgence, and talking about food becomes talking about being “good” and “so bad.

You hear it all around. There are always Those People in your life who are on a diet or watching calories or being good, and you know because they’re always telling you about it in a morally superior fashion. They’re being so good by depriving themselves or choosing particular foods. Worse, they’re “eating clean.” And everyone else? Well…with a “bless your heart,” they guess you’re just making the choice to not live that way. Translation: you’re being bad and eating dirty food.

I. Can’t. Stand. It.

Lord knows I don’t have a perfect nutrition plan. I run a lot, and I spend a lot of time attempting to eat in a way that makes me feel energetic and capable of taking on long races, hikes in the woods, and the occasional bike ride, kayak, or climbing of rocks.

But I also dearly love butter and pasta and wine and triple cream goat cheese and things that are sautéed in brandy. I spent way too much time in an Italian and French and South African restaurant kitchens over my life to not have a deep-rooted appreciation for rich, powerful, flavorful foods. “Skinny” and I have met, shook hands, and I decided I didn’t like her nearly as much as I like baked garlic butter chicken and chianti.

But Skinny left me to it without any moral judgment. I see no reason to inflict that upon myself. And when I do choose to eat a leaner, less-buttery meal, I feel no need to lord it over someone who wants that butter chicken. Why do we do this? Why do we attach morality to food behavior? Why do we feel the need to judge others – or ourselves – for actually taking ourselves up on the “everything in moderation” thing we say?

You do, however, have my permission to judge me for wanting to just eat this spoon of peanut butter.

But still, what’s the worst that could happen if you eat a cookie or, God forbid, a spoon of peanut butter? Assuming you’re not allergic to peanut butter, by consuming that cookie, you’ll have consumed some sugar, some butter, some good natural peanut fat, and hopefully enjoyed the taste of something fun. Right?

Unless you’ve signed onto the self-punishment bandwagon where having food made with butter and sugar will send you straight to hell, or something that should be giggled about with all the nervousness of co-conspirators about to do something naughty. Because if you do that, you could just as easily convince yourself that it’s the One Time you can have something bad. And then “just a taste” becomes “this is the only time I’ll be allowed to give into this craving ever so let me eat this whole thing” even if you’re not hungry. There is a world of difference between eating something because you’re hungry and eating because it’s a “treat.”

Sometimes eating a cookie is just eating a cookie. When we start assigning morality to it, it becomes a problem.  This world is full of enough sanctimonious judgment. Don’t add to it.

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Sea Salt

Adapted from this recipe by Joy the Baker. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

What You’ll Need:

For the cookies:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the chocolate dip:

  • 8 oz dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp fleur de sel {delicate sea salt}

How to Make Them:

1. In a large mixing bowl or in your stand mixer, beat together the butter and peanut butter. Gradually add the sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, and baking soda into the wet ingredients, and beat until combined.

2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla until the mixture is decadently creamy. Resist the urge to start spooning out extra taste tests.

3. Beat in the flour a half cup at a time until you’ve mixed in as much as you can. Stir in the rest with a wooden spoon if necessary.

4. Cover and chill the dough about 30 minutes.

5. Heat oven to 375F. Take the dough out of the fridge and let stand for 5 minutes to soften slightly. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and drop onto a cookie sheet. Using a fork, smash the balls down so that the tines leave a crisscross lattice on the top.

6. Bake cookies 8 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are a light brown. Cool on a wire rack.

7. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler {if you don’t have an actual double boiler, you can use a Pyrex bowl over a pot of boiling water}. You can also use the microwave, but I find it hard not to burn chocolate that way. Stir in the coconut oil.

8. Dip the cookies halfway into the dark chocolate-coconut oil mixture and place back on the baking rack, or on a parchment lined tray. Sprinkle with little bits of fleur de sel.

9. Chill in the fridge 10 minutes to harden the chocolate. Then serve and enjoy! Without guilt.

Print
Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Sea Salt

A unique and slightly savory take on a classic cookie for you to enjoy and share with friends!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
For the cookies:
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the chocolate dip:
  • 8 oz dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp fleur de sel
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl or in your stand mixer, beat together the butter and peanut butter. Gradually add the sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, and baking soda into the wet ingredients, and beat until combined.

  2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla until the mixture is decadently creamy.

  3. Beat in the flour a half cup at a time until you’ve mixed in as much as you can. Stir in the rest with a wooden spoon if necessary.

  4. Cover and chill the dough about 30 minutes.

  5. Heat oven to 375F. Take the dough out of the fridge and let stand for 5 minutes to soften slightly. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and drop onto a cookie sheet. Using a fork, smash the balls down so that the tines leave a crisscross lattice on the top.

  6. Bake cookies 8 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are a light brown. Cool on a wire rack.

  7. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler {if you don’t have an actual double boiler, you can use a Pyrex bowl over a pot of boiling water}. You can also use the microwave, but I find it hard not to burn chocolate that way. Stir in the coconut oil.

  8. Dip the cookies halfway into the dark chocolate-coconut oil mixture and place back on the baking rack, or on a parchment lined tray. Sprinkle with little bits of fleur de sel.

  9. Chill in the fridge 10 minutes to harden the chocolate. Then serve and enjoy! Without guilt.

This world is hard enough without introducing more judgment into it. Be kind to yourself and others. If you want the cookie, just eat the cookie. If you don’t, don’t. It’s that simple.

How are you being kind to yourself today?

  • as if peanut butter cookies weren’t tasty enough (; i personally have more of a problem with enablers. shockingly enough, all of my friends appreciate food (i have a hard time imagining how it would be to be one of the people who don’t care for eating), and we err on the side of mutual decadence rather than snobbish one up manship, healthy food only style.

    • Oh yeah, that gets dangerous, too! Never let your friends talk you into a wine and dessert party, because it’s a whole bunch of celebratory enabling followed by a sugar coma followed by the worst headache of your life. At least I heard that from a friend… :O