Answer: Soup dumplings.
Wow, pretty wild. Let me explain.
I met a friend for dinner in Chinatown a few weeks ago and we ended up at Joe’s Shanghai – a place famous for soup dumplings. They are exactly what they sound like, and to make them, the broth is frozen into an ice cube (hungry yet? Nothing hits the spot better than a broth ice cube!) but when the dumpling is cooked, the frozen center melts to become a yum-sauce soup on the inside and a delicious dumpling on the outside.
I started thinking – what could I freeze and stuff into some sort of baked good, that would then become even more amazing when baked? Peanut butter. Yes! A swirl of peanut butter in each bite of cookie! My brain is trying to comprehend all the other things that can be frozen and baked into treats. These are just the beginning…
Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
Adapted from the back of a bag of Baker’s chocolate chunks
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and thinly spread the peanut butter so that it is about 1/4 inch thick. Freeze for at least several hours, or overnight.
When you are ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until fully mixed. Add in the chocolate chips.
Remove the peanut butter from the freezer and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Work quickly, because the peanut butter will come to room tempature fast! Fill a scoop about halfway with dough, then scoop a square of frozen peanut butter, then fill the rest of the scoop with cookie dough. Release onto the prepared sheet, and continue until the sheet is filled. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges are just light brown.
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Note on cookie baking: I usually bake one batch of cookies, then scoop out the rest of the cookie dough on another baking sheet (like in the pre-baked photo above). I freeze the dough balls until they are hard, then after they are frozen, transfer them to a plastic bag for storage. I keep on average six bags of cookies in my freezer (just kidding! six is ridiculous – it is more like three) because you never know when you need a warm cookie straight out of the oven.