Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cookies

There is no telling why I chose a mangled cookie to go right on top of this pile when there was perfectly formed cookie just to it’s right.

It’s no secret that Jesse and I have a little bit of thing for chocolate and peanut butter together. Cookies, cake, brownies, more cookies, and now more cookies. It’s definitely one of our favorite dessert combinations. I also have a soft spot in my heart for fun, slice and bake, swirled cookies. Needless to say, the moment I saw these cookies on Katie’s blog I started thinking of a way to incorporate them into my baking plan for the week (yes, you know you bake way too much if you have a baking plan for the week).

In the end, these cookies taste pretty similar to the Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies I make all the time, but the presentation is so fun and a nice change-up.  Yes, they take a little more time to make than my usual recipe (especially because these include time to chill before slicing). Other than the extra time, they really aren’t too difficult to make. I did find that when I tried to roll it up with just my hands that it got a little messy. Once I figured out that I needed to use the parchment paper to roll the log it was smooth sailing.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cookies 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter, milk, vanilla extract, and egg to the bowl and stir until combined. Sprinkle the flour, salt, and baking soda over the wet ingredients, then stir until combined.

Dump the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper then knead together and form into a rough brick shape. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the dough and use a rolling pin to roll out into a 10×17 inch rectangle.

In a microwave safe measuring cup, microwave the chocolate chips for 1 minute. Stir until melted, microwaving for an additional 30 seconds if needed.

Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and pour the melted chocolate over the rolled out dough. Use a knife or spatula to spread the chocolate over the surface, leaving just a little edge all the way around. Using the parchment paper to guide the dough, roll into a log, starting with the long side (so after taking theses pictures I turned the dough a quarter turn and then rolled the long side towards me). Chill the dough for 34-35 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat.

Slice the dough into 1/4 inch slices* and place slices on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool.

I recommend serving alongside a glass of chocolate milk (or regular milk if you’re into that sort of thing).

*After removing the log from the fridge I noticed there was a flat side, so I gave the log a few rolls on the counter before slicing to try and soften the edges.

Adapted from So Tasty So Yummy, originally from Salad in a Jar

Slice and Bake Almond Flavored Sugar Cookies

It’s day 5 of my week of Christmas cookies. My pants are fitting a bit tighter, but I’m still smiling. I love cookies. 🙂

These cookies are just fun and festive. You can let your imagination run wild as you make these cookies. Red and green swirls, white and green swirls with multi-colored sprinkles, plain white swirls with sprinkles in between… my mind is racing with the possibilities. Keep in mind you could also change the colors up for pretty much any holiday.

Another great thing about these cookies is that you can make a roll, keep it tightly wrapped in the freezer and pull it out if you have unexpected company and need a quick dessert. Another typically store-bought convenience item made from scratch. I love it!

On top of all of that, you can also use a variety of mix-ins. Deb, from Smitten Kitchen, has a list of different mix-ins you can try. I wanted to keep mine simple and festive, so I left out the mix-ins and went for a strong almond flavor.

Slice and Bake Almond Flavored Sugar Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
Food coloring, as desired
Sprinkles, as desired

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter until light and smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Add the egg yolks, salt, and extracts and mix until combined. Add the flour and mix just until combined, be very careful to not over mix.

To make a 2 color swirl, divide the dough in 2 and color each half as desired. Shape each half of the dough into a ball, wrap in saran wrap and chill for 20-30 minutes. After chilling roll half of the dough, on top of a piece of parchment paper, to 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Roll the other half of the dough the same way. Carefully flip the dough you want on the inside of the swirl on top of the dough you want on the outside of the cookie (option to sprinkle the first layer with sprinkles before placing the second layer). Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Roll the stacked dough into a log, using the bottom sheet of parchment paper to keep the log even. Once it’s shaped, you can roll the outside of the log in your choice of sprinkles. Wrap the log in saran wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. You can also double wrap it with aluminum foil and freeze it for up to a month.

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the log from the fridge and use a sharp knife to cut into 1/3-inch cookies. Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Dorie Greenspan