Chocolate Peanut Butter Puddle Cookies

You may have noticed that I do a lot of baking for my brother.

Here’s the thing. One of the unfortunate signs that you may be becoming an adult is that almost everyone you know is on a diet. When I was in elementary school, we had a tradition that the birthday boy or girl would bring in treats for the class, and could then spend part of lunch running around the school with one lucky friend, offering the Zebra Cakes or Hostess Yodels or Entemans donuts (you know, the yellow cake ones covered in a coat of flakey, chocolatey icing) to all of their previous teachers. And when May 11th rolled around and it was my turn to procure store-bought treats, without fail, the teachers would always wish me a happy birthday…and then refuse my offering. This made absolutely no sense. I remember thinking that if I were a teacher, I would not only accept the donut or whatever, I’d take two, because being a grown-up means no one is around to monitor your sugar intake. When I was introduced to the concept of dieting, I remember thinking it was still ridiculous, because I didn’t think of any of my teachers as “fat.”

Ah, the innocence of youth.

In any case, though most of my friends and family are watching what they eat — whether for health reasons, weight loss, or because they just don’t have the same appetite for sugar that they did when they were seven — I have a brother with the metabolism of a hummingbird who’s happy acting as a garbage disposal. Thus, when I get the urge to bake, I can send some baked goods off in a care package with the knowledge that they will be consumed and appreciated.

A few notes: I didn’t have any parchment paper on hand, so the cookies kind of fell apart a little when I took them off the cookie sheet. They still tasted great, though. Alex doesn’t like nuts combined with chocolate, so I replaced the walnuts in this recipe with peanut butter chips. The result was a chocolatey cookie with meringue-like lightness combined with an ooey-goeey center from all the melted chips. And as an added bonus, these babies are gluten-free!

Ingredients:

– 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

– 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1 tsp sea salt

– 4 egg whites

– 1 tbsp vanilla extract

– 11 oz peanut butter chips

– 5 oz chocolate chips

You will also need:

– Parchment paper!

Step 1: In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.

Step 2: Add in chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Step 3: Add egg whites and vanilla extract. Stir until combined.

Step 4: Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I didn’t have any on hand, and it was impossible to get the cookies off of the baking sheets without falling apart) and preheat oven to 325 degrees. To form the cookies, drop a scant tablespoon of dough onto the baking sheets. Be sure to space them out, because these cookies really flatten and spread.

Step 5: Bake for 12-15 minutes. The original recipe advises not to undercook them, but I thought they tasted great with the center still a bit molten.

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