As most of you know, we live a little bit in the boonies. Not completely, since getting to Cincinnati only takes about an hour–and the northern suburbs, which are pretty well stocked–only take about 30 minutes. But at the same time, we are on 5 acres at the back of a private lane off of a 55 mph rural highway. Which has made teaching the girls to ride their bikes without training wheels interesting, to say the least. There is nowhere to bike and our lane is just hilly enough to make riding a bike here nerve wracking for tiny novices. Any longer bike riding requires packing the car. So when Alex did not want to remove her training wheels it was hard to push the issue. And of course the more we let it go, the more entrenched her paranoia became.
Every time they grew out of a bike, we would buy the next size up, with the hopes that Alex, especially, would eventually take that plunge (as a kindergartner, Sammy did not seem to be especially late on this issue). Well, now I know the secret to convincing her (and I should have guessed because this is not the only thing that has gone like this). We got them new bikes today, and the training wheels were not yet on them. Sammy decided she was riding that bike with or without the training wheels (Alex was not home at the time). When Alex got home and learned that Sammy was riding her bike without the training wheels, well, her expression was priceless. There is no motivator like sibling rivalry, or, maybe more accurately in this case, the fear that your sibling is going to go off and do stuff (like ride her bike) without you.
Now I have 2 bike riding kids! Just like that.
Now I said there were no motivators like sibling rivalry, but for me these cookies would be pretty good motivation (not Alex though–bribery alone was not getting her to take that plunge). They started as an experiment–but one that was a stunning success. I saw this PB2 powdered peanut butter the other day and bought both the plain and the chocolate, and figured I would play with them and see what struck me. In the meantime, I had pinned this chocolate cookie recipe from eat drink love, with the idea of substituting chocolate peanut butter for the Nutella, which I detest. So these were my starting places…
Interestingly, these cookies did not taste super peanutty–and I am happy with that. They instead tasted like really fabulous, rich, chewy, thick double chocolate chip cookies. And while I do not make any promises or claims that I have worked it out mathematically, I think they must be healthier from the use of the PB2 (which removes 85% of the fat calories from peanut butter). But if you really want more of a peanut taste, I recommend subbing in some peanut butter chips for the chocolate chips, and maybe adding chopped peanuts as well. Either way, make these. You will not be sorry.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup reduced fat sour cream
- 1 T honey
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup PB2 powdered peanut butter with chocolate
- 2½ cups (315 g) AP flour
- ⅔ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (I subbed 1 T with double Dutch cocoa for color but is not necessary)
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t salt
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (to increase the peanut flavor, substitute in some peanut butter chips and/or add some chopped salted and roasted peanuts)
- vanilla salt for sprinkling on the cookie dough
- Whisk together the PB2 powdered peanut butter with chocolate, flour, natural cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sour cream and honey and beat it in.
- Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Gently stir in the flour mixture until it is mostly incorporated. Add the chocolate chips (or mix of chips and chopped peanuts or peanut butter chips) and mix until completely incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. I liked these cookies best in scant ¼-cup scoops, 6 to a cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie dough mound and sprinkle with vanilla salt.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes, until both set and cracked. Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
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