February 1, 2012

Peanut Butter (hearts) Chocolate Cookies
And My New Favorite Coffee

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias #CBias 

Laurel & Hardy
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Bacon & Eggs
Peanut Butter & Chocolate
Coffee and Cookies

What do they all have in common?  They're perfect pairings! Putting your original spin on an iconic duo is not a task to approach half-heartedly .  There's a lot of history and greatness to live up to.  Coffee and Cookies -- sounds simple enough, but consider this: Perhaps you can liven up a mediocre cookie by dipping it in a cup of good coffee, but if you're starting out with a humdrum cup of Joe, your ship is sunk before its even leaves the dock.

I'm thrilled -- genuinely thrilled -- to tell you that after four "I CAN eat just one" batches of "eh" trial cookies, I finally came up with a keeper.  I'm even more excited that the coffee tasting that inspired this new recipe creation was a success.  Here's why:

My husband and I LOVE our coffee.  We start our morning with one big steaming cup, and that's all for the whole day.  But with that single cup, we want to hear the angels sing.  For years, we've been chasing the perfect cup of home brewed coffee.  We've tried everything that's out there -- the big name brands, the locally roasted, the taste-test winners, fair trade, organic, and have tried coffee beans from every continent on which those precious little beans are grown.   But thusfar, the perfect cup has eluded us.

Enter the "My Barista Moment" campaign for the Ambiance line of products at Smart & Final.  I was all at once eager and apprehensive about taking on this campaign from Social Fabric. Just as I wasn't willing to share an "eh" cookie with my readers, I wouldn't want to recommend a cup of coffee that I wasn't crazy about either.
I'm getting awfully long-winded here, so suffice to say that both my husband and I were nothing short of "wowed" by this morning's brew.  A quest of many years finally comes to an end  in the form of Smart & Final's Ambiance Premium Whole Bean French Roast Coffee -- Full-bodied, smooth, & perfectly balanced.  This definitely was "My Barista Moment", having finally made a cup of coffee at home that rivals any cup I've swooned over in a first rate coffee house.  I'd be willing to pay almost anything for the perfect cup of coffee, but fortunately the Ambiance French Roast is only $11.99 for a 2 pound bag!

There's something for everyone in the Ambiance line which includes beans and blends from many regions, ground and flavored coffees, a full line of gourmet teas, and accoutrements like sugar packets and stir sticks.

You've heard about the coffee, so now it's time for the cookie.  These "Peanut Butter {hearts} Chocolate Cookies" are like the lovechild of a Peanut Butter Blossom and a Chocolate Thumbprint cookie.  Peanut Butter {hearts} Chocolate Cookies + A great cup of coffee = Breakfast of Champions!  They hold up to a good dunking, and the creamy smooth fudge middle will simply melt in your mouth!

While at Smart & Final picking up my Ambiance coffee, I grabbed the ingredients for the cookies too.  The prices for the First Street brand of flour, sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, chocolate chips and butter were great and I was very pleased with the quality.  I also bought some potatoes.  You'll see why later in the recipe.  You can read more about my shopping experience HERE.

 Peanut Butter {hearts} Chocolate Cookies 
Makes 3 dozen

For the heart "stamp"
1 medium potato

For the dough
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt

For rolling the dough balls
1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the fudge filling
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons butter, cut in to pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350.

Step 1:  Create a heart-shaped stamp by cutting one end off of the potato to yield a flat surface.  With a pencil or bamboo skewer, draw a heart shape about the size of your thumbprint.  Use a paring knife to carefully cut away the potato, leaving only the heart shape. If you do not wish to have a chocolate heart in the center of the cookies, you may simply use your the back of a measuring spoon or melon baller to make a round depression in the cookies.

Step 2:  In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, cream peanut butter, butter, 1/2 cup sugar and brown sugar until smooth (about 1 minute).

Step 3:  Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth.

Step 4:  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.  Slowly add to the creamed mixture and beat to combine.

Step 5:   Shape dough into 1" balls.  Roll in granulated sugar, then place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2" apart.

Step 6:  Bake for 13-14 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press the heart "stamp" into the center of each cookie to form a reservoir for the chocolate fudge.

Step 7:  Allow cookies to cool completely.  Once cool, prepare the creamy fudge filling by melting the chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup over low heat.  Stir until smooth.  Place in a squirt bottle, pastry bag, or a sturdy zipper bag, with a small hole cut in the tip and pipe gently into the heart cavities of each cookie.  Cookies are ready to eat when the fudge has set.  


  1. Voted, pinned, tweeted. My husband just asked me to make some peanut butter cookies so now I really have NO excuse!

  2. Only one cup of coffee for the whole day? I don't think I could do it! Especially now that we have a Keurig and I can make a fresh cup any time I want one in less than a minute.

    Your cookies are adorable! I'll head over and vote for them!

  3. I'm more of a cookies & milk person, but coffee is good too! These cookies look amazing...and so pretty!

  4. I understand completely the idea of one cup per day (at about 10 o'clock) of really GOOD coffee. I've been struggling here in the US to find something and at the moment I'm using 8o'clock (original, not the Colombian everyone raves about) I'll try this coffee, if I see it about. I'll definitely try the recipe!

  5. I pretty much could live on cookies like this...I did when I was pregnant with Joe (I think they are still with me)

  6. Yum and how clever to use the potato! You have my vote and my Pin too! Good luck with the Ambience voting, hope you win!

  7. I love these cookies! They are adorable! I can't wait to carve a potato and stamp cookies. it is a Simple, yet brilliant idea.

  8. oh I LOVE that creative heart in these yummy looking cookies :)

  9. What a great idea for Valentine's Day! They look like they could be a fun cookie to make with your kids as well. Thank you for sharing this post with the Gallery of Favorites.

  10. Hmmm...I think test batches don't count for calories, right? I'd be all, "Oh. No. This batch didn't come out quite right. Darn. I'll have to make another." :) Love this for Valentine's Day!

  11. Chocolate and peanut butter - my favorite flavor combination! And the little hearts are too cute! I'll be making these for sure!

  12. Just wanted to let you know I featured this as part of my link party wrap up! Please feel free to grab a featured button from my sidebar if you like.

  13. It's a double feature for these! I included them in a special Valentine's Chocolate post today. Happy Valentine's Day!


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