I’ve had my DIY peanut butter chips sitting in the freezer for awhile, begging me to make these cookies. I made the chips from scratch not because they’re vegan, but because I prefer to keep the additives out of my baking (and eating in general) as much as possible. They chips are OK, but they have a bit too much coconut flavor. I like coconut, but only in specific contexts — chocolate + peanut butter isn’t really one of them. But I think my expectations were overly high because this really did turn out to be a tasty cookie.
I’ve never been to Levain Bakery, but their reputation is pretty legendary, so I used this reverse-engineered recipe as my starting point. I’m ultimately trying to come close the flavor of my hometown cookie shop’s chocolate peanut butter cookies. (Which, sadly, was not achieved. Back on the horse!)
Whole Wheat Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Reverse-engineering Levain Bakery’s Famous Cookies
Makes 22 cookies
- 187 grams freshly-milled soft white wheat flour
- 127 grams freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
- 5/8 cup natural cocoa powder (I’m loving Penzey’s)
- 5/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 5/8 teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup peanut butter chips (I made DIY Peanut Butter Chips using homemade peanut butter and maple syrup)
- 1/3 cup extra dark chocolate chips
- Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter just until it becomes smooth and pasty (not whipped until soft and fluffy).
- Beat in the sugars until combined, then the egg and vanilla.
- Slowly mix in the flour mixture on low speed until combined.
- Dump mixture onto clean counter and add chips by hand, moving quickly so the dough doesn’t get too soft.
- Portion dough into approximately 22 pieces. Split each piece in half, rotate the pieces away from each other, and press bottoms together to form a craggily top.
- Place shaped cookies on a wax paper-lined sheet and cover with plastic. Freeze for a few hours, until firm. Transfer to a freezer bag.
- Wait overnight to bake, then preheat oven to 375° with rack positioned in the middle. Once the oven is heated, portion out the cookies to bake, placing on a silpat-lined baking sheet, leaving the rest in the freezer bag until ready to bake.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. The edges will firm up a bit but the middles will seem underdone. Cool for a few minutes on the pan then move to a wire rack to cool completely.