It's a classic question: What to get for the man who has everything?
My humbly submitted answer: A little bit of your time, energy, and chocolate supply.
Father's Day is coming, and my dad is hard to shop for. If your dad is as hard to shop for as mine is, you have my deep sympathy. I never know what to get him, and there's nothing he really needs, so I fell back on my old standby: cookies. I made two varieties, a classic peanut butter topped with a chocolate kiss, and a triple chocolate sandwiched with sweetened peanut butter. The first is a sentimental favorite of his from when I was very young, and the second is one that I introduced him to early this year as sort of an inverted form of the old favorite.
I found the recipe in a cookbook I received last Christmas (Thank you Mom-and Dad-in-law!) and at first tried making it exactly as specified. It was tasty, but even with the three types of chocolate I found that the flavor, while satisfyingly chocolate-y, lacked some depth. I played around a little and found that with the addition of two little flavor enhancers, the chocolate really sang. They may raise an eyebrow when you read them, but your tongue won't pick out those two distinct flavors of salt and coffee. You'll only taste rich, deep chocolate. Besides, who can argue with a plate of these?
Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
adapted from Trish Deseine
These cookies are very rich, and better if made small.
4 ounces very good quality dark chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
scant 1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup quality natural cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
4 ounces milk chocolate, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 cup peanut butter
7 tbsp confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Melt the dark chocolate and the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Let it cool for a few minutes, then stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and mix. Add flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, and coffee granules and mix well. Stir in the milk chocolate pieces. Take a teaspoonful of the mixture at a time and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you want very regular cookies, roll the dough into a ball with your hands before placing it on the sheet. Personally, I don't mind the rustic look. That's up to you. Repeat for the rest of the mixture, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cookies on the sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then gently move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
While the cookies bake, mix together the peanut butter and confectioners' sugar. Spread a little on one cooled cookie, top with another, and press together lightly. Repeat, and eat.
The cookies are baked, carefully packed, and mailed. I hope you enjoy them Dad, and have a great Father's Day.