The Nine-Pound Books
I have this series of books that have recipes in them—my Savory and Sweet Romances series that’s being re-released at the end of May, in ebook form. When I proposed the books a few years ago, I thought it would be great to combine my love of writing with my love of cooking. Little did I know that testing the recipes for each of the books (an average of 32 recipes per book) would mean gaining nine pounds each time I wrote one! All those cookies were research, I swear!
So now I’m always trying to look for recipes that have all the yumminess I enjoy, but at a lighter calorie count. These peanut butter and chocolate cookies fit the bill—and were a HUGE hit with the teenagers and their friends.
Light Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon regular salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup low-fat milk
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
3 1/2 tablespoons low-fat milk, divided
2 tablespoons half and half (I used lowfat), divided
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 ounce chocolate chips
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Either line two cookies sheets with parchment paper or spray them with non-stick spray.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt, stirring well. In a mixer, combine sugar, peanut butter, butter, eggs and beat at medium speed about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup milk, then add eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Add vanilla. Then add flour to suga
r mixture and beat on low until well mixed. This is a thin-ish dough, not at all thick like chocolate chip cookie dough. That's okay--it makes light, fluffy cookies.
Put dough mixture into a big zip-type bag. Snip off a 1/2 inch on one corner, then pipe 1 1/2 inch circles onto the cookie sheets (makes about 36, so 18 cookies per sheet) Bake at 375 for 11-13 minutes (mine took 12 1/2). Cool for 1 minute on the pans, then remove to wire racks and let cool completely.
To prepare icing: in a bowl, stir together 3/4 cup of the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon of cream and peanut butter. It should be thin, but not runny (you can always add a tad more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency). Put it into a quart-size zip-type bag. In another bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave at 30-second intervals, until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Add remaining 3/4 cup of confectioners' sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon of cream and cocoa
(add extra liquid if necessary). Stir well, then put the chocolate icing into a separate quart-size zip-type bag.
When the cookies are COMPLETELY cool, you can ice them. Snip off a small corner of the peanut butter icing, then drizzle on the cookies. Do the same with the chocolate. Let stand until icing is set (about 10 minutes). Indulge! These are less than 100 calories per cookie, so you can indulge a lot ;-)