Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Chip Peanut Meltaways.

It's almost Christmas. Can you feel the magic yet? 
My mom always says that if anything magical could ever possibly happen, it would happen on Christmas Eve. This is probably why at 23 I still find myself listening for reindeer hooves on our roof. 

If you need an extra cookie just in time for Christmas Eve, these are one of Santa's my dad's favorites. They're similar to the Mexican wedding cakes I made last week, except that these have chopped up roasted peanuts and bits of chocolate in them and are rolled in a mixture of powdered sugar and cocoa powder. 

And they make a lot. And they're delicious. 

Chocolate Chip Peanut Meltaways

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar + 1 1/2 cups for rolling cookies in
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, minced
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Blend together butter, vanilla, almond extract, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, and all-purpose flour until dough holds together. 

Stir in chopped salted roasted peanuts and minced semisweet chocolate.

Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls and place about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.

Bake until cookies are pale golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes; if using more than 1 pan in 1 oven, switch pan positions halfway through baking. Cool on pans for 5 minutes.

Place 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons cocoa and mix with a fork. A few at a time, gently turn warm cookies in sugar, then cool on racks. When cool, coast cookies again with sugar.

Makes about 120.

Source: Sunset, 1998.