Monday, November 29, 2021

The Gourmet Version of Peanut Butter Blossoms - Soft Chewy with more flavour and less sugar! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Do you think that time flies faster when we are recovering from a pandemic? During the weekdays, the work get busier when everyone return back to work on site. During the weekends, family and friends were busy catching up. Then, Christmas is arriving in a month time. How quick was that?

I'm excited as I love baking for Christmas. Today, I'm going to show how to bake the gourmet version of Peanut Butter Blossom which is an all-time favorite Christmas cookies. As a gourmet version, mine is a little different from others...

peanut butter blossoms soft chewy soft chocolate center less sugar
My Gourmet Version of Peanut Butter Blossoms
with soft glossy truffle-like chocolate centers
Made with more flavour and less sugar!

According to Wikipedia, Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie originates in 1957 and is often served during holidays in the United States. This soft and chewy cookie is typically made with a peanut butter cookie dough, then topped with a piece of Hershey chocolate kisses just after the cookies are baked.

Many recipes that I have seen are made with a combination of butter, shortening and peanut butter. Some are made with just peanut butter. I don't add shortening into my cookies and I prefer to bake mine with a combination of the up-class French butter plus 100% peanut butter. 100% peanut butter? Please continue to read as I will explain more later.

In order to make the peanut butter cookies soft, chewy and nice, I discovered that almost all recipes have to add about 150g sugar to bake 24 cookies which works out to be 6g added sugar per cookie. I know. This is the critical amount of sugar to make my cookies chewy and I can't reduce this amount any further because I know that my cookies will turn out to be cakey if I add lesser than 5g of sugar per cookie.

However, there are other ways to cut the added sugar added these chewy cookies. And this is why my soft and chewy peanut butter blossoms cookies are made with:

1) good quality couverture chocolate, not Hershey chocolate kisses
Each Hershey's kiss has 2.5g sugar. The couverture chocolate that I used is Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 54% cocoa and it contains 43g sugar per 100g. I have used only 50g to make 25 cookies and so the amount of sugar in 50g chocolate is 21.5g, divide by 25 cookies is 0.86g each cookie. By topping my cookies with good quality couverture chocolate means that each of my cookies has 1.64g less sugar and MORE real chocolate flavour! Why not?

2) 100% peanut butter with no sugar and other fat added, not regular smooth peanut butter with about 5 to 8g sugar added in every 100g. And the amount of sugar added can vary from brand to brand.

If you don't know, this 100% peanut butter is exactly the same peanut butter that I used to bake The Ultimate Smooth Melt-in-the-mouth Peanut Butter Cookies at HERE. Unlike the regular spreadable peanut butter, it is supposed to be runny and it is a common item to buy in most supermarkets in Australia, UK and US. If it is not easily available in the place that you are living, you can actually make your own. All you need is roasted PEANUTS and process until smooth and runny when the peanut oil is released. Detailed instructions can be found at here and here.

By adding 130g 100% peanut butter into my cookie dough means that I didn't add 6.5g to 10.4g sugar from the regular peanut butter into my cookies. So, this means that each of my cookies has 0.26g to 0.42g less sugar and MORE peanut flavour! LOL... Another why not?

3) no sugar coating
Most typical peanut butter blossoms cookies recipes suggest coating the peanut cookies with sugar before baking. Some recipe are generous, coating 24 cookies with 1/4 cup sugar which is 50g per 24 cookies but some uses just 30g sugar to coat 24 cookies. So, this means that without the sugar coating, each of my cookies will have 1.25g to 2g less sugar.

In total, my cookies that are made with couverture chocolate, 100% peanut butter and no sugar coating will have 3.15g to 4.06g less sugar in each cookies as compared to the classic ones that is made with Hershey chocolate kisses, regular peanut butter and sugar coating. And it adds up to be 79g to 102g less sugar in 25 cookies!!!

So there you go... My gourmet version of Peanut Butter Blossoms are made from an adapted recipe from Epicurious using these premium ingredients:

French butter
All natural 100% peanut butter
Real vanilla, not flavouring or essence
good quality couverture chocolate

With NO shortening and NO sugar coating

Resulting my cookies to be still soft and chewy with soft glossy truffle-like chocolate centers... YUM!!! They are still nice and sweet, not excessively sweetened!

peanut butter blossoms soft chewy soft chocolate center less sugar
I'm feeling extra nice baking these yummy cookies.
peanut butter blossoms soft chewy soft chocolate center less sugar
Soft and chewy with soft chocolate truffle-like center.
It is nice and sweet but not too sweet.

Like how I baked my Peanut Butter Blossoms? Please watch my video and see how I baked them. You will see that these cookies are very easy to bake as the cookie dough is very easy to handle.

Music: Bensound

My son said that I have to bake these Peanut Butter Blossoms again. I will. Will you? Give this recipe a go and if you like these cookies, please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids or SUBSCRIBE my YouTube channel at here because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE from you means a lot to a busy working mum like me. I will know that I'm in the right track and continue to bake and share more in the future. Thank you!!!

Here's the recipe that adapted from the book, Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking From the Heartland 2019 by Shauna Sever or here at Epicurious

Makes 25 cookies

For the cookies:
75g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
75g dark muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar
65g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
130g smooth peanut butter, made with 100% peanuts - with 49% fat and no sugar no other fat added - please watch my video and read my above text!
2 large egg yolks, 17g each at room temperature
130g plain / all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For the chocolate topping:
50g couverture dark chocolate - I used Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 54% cocoa
25g unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line baking trays with baking papers.

Add butter, both sugars and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon or an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter mixture until combined and fluffy.

Add peanut butter and egg yolk, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into the butter mixture and mix until combined.

Divide dough equally by weight, 20g each and roll each portion into a ball. Arrange them on the prepared trays with about 2 inches / 5 cm apart. Then, use a small 1/2 tsp measuring spoon with a deep well to press the middle of each cookies in order to make a small indentation in each cookie. It's ok if the cookie dough crack a little as they will rise and crack too during baking.

Bake the cookies, rotating the trays from top to bottom halfway through for 12 mins or until just firm and light golden brown at the edges. It's ok if they are still very soft in their centers. If your cookies have expanded too much and lose their indentations during baking, use the same measuring spoon to make the indentations again as soon as the cookies come out of the oven. Please note that I don't have to do that because the indentations on my cookies remain after baking. Then, allow cookies to cool slightly on the trays for about 10 mins. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble:
Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave with high power with short pulses of 20-30 secs, stir well in between the microwave until smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly.

Transfer into a small disposable piping bag or a small ziplock bag. Snip off a tiny bit at the corner of the bag and fill the centers of the cookies with chocolate mixture. Allow the chocolate on the cookies to set at room temperature or in the fridge for about 30 mins (not more than 30 mins in a fridge).

Enjoy or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Happy Christmas Baking!
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