First of all, I want to acknowledge I will never be hired for my piping skills.
I’ve tried, but I lack the required patience. I carefully pipe a couple good ones, meaning exactly two, and breezy over-confidence takes over. The next one is invariably smaller than the first two. I correct this with the fourth, which is typically the biggest, for overcompensation, I guess. And number 5 is lopsided. I get frustrated, which is to say pissed, and then it’s just all over from there.
Sometimes I scrape them all back up, like I did yesterday, starting over with a new piping bag because God knows the first one was a complete mess of chocolate all over the place. My husband, thinking he smelled chocolate somewhere and feeling the need to investigate, pointed helpfully at my chocolate smeared shirt, as if I didn’t know I’d dropped some on me, and I snapped back: “Yes. I. Know.” He beat a hasty, wise, retreat to the den. Chocolate-less.
I still don’t understand how it got in my hair.
But I never really give up. Maybe I should, but I keep at it. I mean, it’s not like it’s brain surgery and I have to study neurons and their pathways or something. But just as with things in life that don’t fall into place easily and effortlessly, like finding a new job, writing a book, or getting along with my mom when she was alive, I just keep at it. Someday, hopefully soon, I’ll get it right. But first, I need to acquire a lot more patience.
A Few Cooking Notes:
If you want all chocolate, no worries, just use 9 ounces butter, and omit the peanut butter.
I haven’t tried these with coconut oil, but I really want to. That will be the next kitchen experiment with these babies (in addition to more piping practice, of course). I’m wondering if the coconut oil might make the dough less stiff and easier to pipe too.
When piping these cookies, since the dough can be a little stiff, use the straight edge of a bench scraper, or other hard straight edge, to slide the dough towards the tip. I lay the entire bag on the counter to do this. Try to eliminate as many air bubbles as you easily can, as they will disrupt your piping as air is released. This can cause little pock marks in the piped cookies.
Five more desserts I’ve seen this week that made me want to get out my baking pans:
Poppyseed Marzipan Kuchen on Rosemary and Rita’s site Get Cooking Simply (by Rosemary’s daughter living in Germany)
Apple Slice by Wendy at Sunchowder’s Emporia (much more than just an apple slice!)
Tahini Cookies by Hannah at Blue Kale Road
Olive Oil and Thyme Mini Bundt Cakes by Alice at the Hip Foodie Mom site
Peanut-Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies
Makes 36 small cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes (20 minutes if you don’t pipe)
Cook Time: 8 minutes
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
- 3 ounces peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2.8 ounces confectioners sugar, sifted, plus some for sifting over the baked cookies at the end
- 4 1/2 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 1.5 ounces unsweetened cacao (chocolate) powder
- 1 egg
- 5 ounces all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Fit a pastry bag with a tip for the shape you wish to pipe. Bigger is better here, as the cookie dough can be a little stiff. If you don’t plan to pipe the cookies, they can be spooned out onto the prepared baking sheet too.
Beat the softened butter and peanut butter with a paddle attachment until lighter in color and creamy (about 2 -3 minutes). The color changes due to the air being whipped into it, which translates into a fluffy base for the cookie.
Add the vanilla extract and salt. When fully incorporated, add the sugars and beat again until fully incorporated, starting on low speed.
Add the cocoa powder and egg and mix until fully incorporated.
Sift in the flour in thirds and mix in using a rubber spatula until flour is just incorporated before adding the next 1/3. Do not overmix as this will result in a tougher cookie.
If you’re piping the cookies, spoon ½ cookie dough into the pastry bag and pipe cookies onto the parchment paper or silpat, 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart from each other. I pipe mine about 1 1/2″ in diameter at their base. They will spread a bit in the oven from the butter, and the tops will sink a bit, but the overall shape should hold fine.
Bake for 8 minutes or until just starting to set up. Do not cook until they become hard or browned.
Cool on a cooling rack. For larger cookies, you may want to let them cool on the cookie sheet for 1 minute before removing to a cooking rack.
Sift with a little confectioners sugar just before serving.