Ina Garten's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Barbara from Winos and Foodies is hosting the Taste of Yellow Event this year for LiveSTRONG Day. Last year 149 food bloggers participated in this event, and I'm guessing that number will grow exponentially this year as I visit blogs each day that are supporting this event with their yellow food posts.

This event is a one-day initiative to raise awareness and funds for the cancer fight. Unfortunately our family has had its share of cancer. My father succombed to the disease several years ago, and it has taken my grandma and uncle and several friends as well. We have numerous friends and family members who have fought cancer and continue to LiveSTRONG, and we are thankful for that. Thank you to Barbara for hosting this event.

My entry for this event is Ina Garten's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies. My son had great fun pulling all of the yellow M&M's out of the giant bag that I bought. It turns out that yellow isn't the most abundant color in an M&M bag. We ended up with only about 1/2 cup of the yellow guys. As a result, I chose to experiment a little with this recipe.

Ina suggests using high quality semi-sweet chocolate. I used Bakers (just a so-so brand), yellow M&M's and an exotic candy bar that I received in a swap with my Ohio food blogger friend Josie of 1 Kitchen, 2 Dogs and a Girl (thanks Josie!) The exotic bar contained chilies and cinnamon, and I thought that might be an interesting addition to the peanut butter.

I split the cookie batter into three parts and added each experimental element to the mix.

No one else was around, so I had to taste a bit of each (with a dunker of milk, of course.)

The result: The peanut butter cookie itself had a bit of crunch to it. The addition of M&M's is a no-brainer... M&M cookies always rock. The Baker's semi-sweet chocolate... I wish I had bought a higher quality chocolate. They were good, but not excellent. The exotic candy bar... it was an interesting addition with the cinnamon and a very slight flavor of heat with the chilies. I might prefer those flavors in a regular choc. chip cookie. I liked the M&M cookies best.

Dorie Greenspan has a recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies that I highlighted in my post on Best Cookies of 2007. Dorie's cookies are superior to Ina's in my amateur cookie baking opinion. In Dorie's recipe, she uses cinnamon/nutmeg and bittersweet chocolate, which I prefer. Dorie pretty much has the food blogger world singing her praises with her great baking recipes. I don't wish to give Ina too much flack though because her cookies might be much, much better if you use a good quality chocolate (and peanut butter too!)

Ina's recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies can be found HERE.

Dorie's recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies can be found HERE.