Yesterday I mentioned a new baking recipe and collaboration that I’ve been excited to share. This is it: salted chocolate peanut butter cup thumbprints that are eminently snackable and wonderfully sweet/salty/chocolatey—basically, everything I want in a treat.
The cookies are part of a new collaboration with the wonderful folks at Cake in a Crate. If you haven’t heard about it, Cake in a Crate is a new experience for veteran and newbie bakers alike. The company delivers quality, pre-measured ingredients and a baking recipe card in a recyclable box—in other words, it’s the very first meal kit for dessert. All of the recipes are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free.
I’ve been admiring Cake in a Crate’s creations from afar for a long time now. The company has partnered with some of my favorite bloggers on all sorts of wonderful desserts, and I was honored when Asha, the owner, approached me about a vegan cookie for the holiday season. Better still, I had an opportunity to create something using delicious, fair trade, organic dark chocolate from Theo (one of my favorite chocolate brands).
Much as I love chocolate and peanut butter and things involving both chocolate and peanut butter, I’ve never actually made a chocolate + PB cookie. Inspired by Theo’s dark chocolate roasted peanut butter cups, I decided to make this my very first—and I had such an awesome time testing and tweaking the recipe.
One of my favorite things about this cookie is that it features only ten ingredients. It’s so simple to mix, roll, shape, and bake, and I love how the crumbly cookie base is offset by dense, rich, chewy chocolate fillings.
The process involves a bit of patience, but each step is easy. You mix a simple dough (oat flour, almond flour, cocoa, salt, peanut butter, coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla), shape the cookies into balls, create an indent with your thumb before baking, then transfer them to the oven.
After about 8 minutes they emerge crumbly and smelling delightfully of chocolate and peanut butter. You wait for them to cool completely before moving on, then you fill them up with melted dark chocolate and a chunk of peanut butter cup.
After the cookies cool and set (you can speed the waiting time by holding them in the fridge), they’re ready to be enjoyed all on their own, or with a cup of hot cocoa, coffee or tea.
Cake in a Crate ships all over the US, and the company’s offerings aren’t limited to this recipe! You can browse the site to check out all sorts of baked goods from fellow bloggers. No matter which you choose, you’ll get a kit of ingredients and a recipe card for keeps, so that you can make the dessert whenever you like.
The kits make wonderful holiday gifts, especially for friends or family who are interested in exploring vegan or gluten free baking for the first time. If you’d like to send some chocolate and peanut butter cookie love to someone you cherish, you can order my kit here. In honor of Cyber Monday, every kit on the site is currently 25% off with the code PEANUTBUTTERISBETTER ?
And, for those of you who’d like to try the recipe out at home without the kit, here it is.
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted and divided
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces 1 bar 70% Theo baking chocolate (or dark chocolate of choice), roughly chopped
- 4 Theo dark chocolate peanut butter cups each cut into 6 pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oat and almond flours, cocoa powder, and salt. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, 1/3 cup coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir till everything is well combined (you may need to stop using a spatula and start using your hands to finish mixing—the dough is stiff).
- Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, the use a thumb to make an indent in the center of the cookie. When you’ve used up all of the dough, transfer the baking sheets to the oven.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are just darkening. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling wrack. Allow them to cool completely before moving on.
- Set up a double boiler by bringing a small saucepan of water to a boil, then placing a pyrex bowl over it. Add the chopped baking chocolate and remaining tablespoon coconut oil. Heat the chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula as you go, until it’s glossy and smooth.
- Place a teaspoon of the melted chocolate mixture into each thumbprint, followed by a piece of peanut butter cup. Repeat with all remaining cookies. Allow the cookies to cool and centers to harden before serving (you can do this by popping the cookies into the fridge for 30 minutes). Enjoy!
The cookies are plenty chocolate-y, but I’ve been enjoying them at home with batches of vegan hot cocoa for a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. They’re small, but—thanks to the chocolate and peanut butter and all of the richness they provide—really satisfying. A perfect bite.
Hope you enjoy the recipe, and I really hope you’ll take some time to explore Cake in a Crate! It’s such a pleasure to work with a passionate, woman-owned vegan business, and the baking kit offerings really do have something for everyone.
It’s going to be a long week here as my semester wraps up, so I’m happy to be starting it fueled by chocolate. Sending good wishes to all of you.