I firmly believe that things happen exactly as they're meant to. Example: my friendship with stylist, entertaining expert, and author Annette Joseph. I first met Annette years ago through my work as the co-founder of Rue Magazine. We shot a dinner party at her jaw-droppingly beautiful home in Atlanta and ever since have been like peas in a pod, our paths crossing somewhat sporadically but always with a healthy measure of laughter and creativity.
'Meant to be' is also the case with this cookie recipe. Annette just published an awesome book entitled Picture Perfect Parties, which is packed with menus and decorating ideas for every occasion under the sun. I knew I wanted to sample one of the desserts first—no one does sweets quite like Annette—so I picked up the fixings for peanut butter and jelly thumbprints. And that's where things took a turn.
When I mixed all the ingredients, I realized that unlike most peanut butter doughs, this one is firm enough to roll flat and form into shapes. Never one to pass up an opportunity for themed baking (themed anything, for that matter) I cut a dozen hearts and gave them a dip in peanut butter's most faithful lover...chocolate! A sprinkle of sea salt later and I'd given the recipe a Valentine's Day twist that I'd like to think Annette herself would applaud. Isn't serendipity wonderful?
Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies
(Adapted from Picture Perfect Parties by Annette Joseph)
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used Cup 4 Cup to make these gluten free)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspon salt
1 cup smooth peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream butter, sugar, and peanut butter. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring to combine. Mix dry with wet ingredients until a stiff dough forms. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness, cut shapes, and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 8-10 minutes. When cookies have cooled, melt chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler; dip cookies in chocolate, sprinkle with sea salt, and chill. Delish!