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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Do you know the health benefits of chocolate and peanut butter? Imagine putting them together. Double whammy. Feel good about this next recipe first by reading all the benefits of these two items and then fall in love with this recipe I found on Pinterest. All I can say, Oh my Gosh! Not only could I not keep the Reeses Peanut Butter cups out of my mouth, but once these little devils came out of the oven, I couldn’t stop eating the finished product either.

Health Benefits of Chocolate

1. A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20% lower risk of a stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff.

2. Regular chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure,lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease.

3. Because it’s rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you’ll eat less, Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center.  Regular chocolate eaters might do themselves a favor by treating themselves to a bite instead of snacking on “11 other things first” he said.

4. Chocolate May Fight Diabetes

5. A small Italian study from 2005 found that regularly eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing risk for diabetes.
Also, chocolate is good for the skin offering some UV protection, quieting coughs, boosts your mood, improves blood flow and vision, which causes to be more alert, awake and even smarter! Who knew?
Health benefits of Peanut Butter
Energy Boost – Each bite packs a bunch of nutrition. It contains both protein and healthy monosaturated fats, which will give you the energy pick-me-up that you are looking for. Additionally, peanut butter has other nutrients including vitamin B3, tryptophan, and manganese.

Cardiovascular Health -The monounsaturated fat in peanut butter has been linked with a decrease in the risk of heart disease. Also, peanuts contain fiber, and a diet high in fiber will reduce bad (LDL)cholesterol levels. Peanut butter also contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with lower levels of heart disease.

Better Circulation - Peanut butter is a great source of iron, which helps to maintain good circulation.

Blood Sugar Control - The protein and fiber in peanut butter are both beneficial for blood sugar control. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, or you are at risk of diabetes, including peanut butter in your diet may be beneficial because it will stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Anti-Aging - Peanut butter contains resveratrol , an antioxidant that has been linked with lower levels of heart disease and cancer. Some studies suggest that resveratrol may reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Cancer Prevention - The antioxidants and fiber in peanut butter help to reduce the risk of cancer. Antioxidants are effective because they clean up free radical activity within the body and fiber will reduce the risk of colon cancer because it keeps waste moving efficiently through the intestines.

Peanut butter cup cookiesChocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 1/2 C, plus 2 TBSP. flour, 6 TBSP, cocoa, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1tsp salt, 6 TBSP butter at room temp., 1/4 C creamy peanut butter, 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1 LG egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 TBSP. milk, 2 C coarsely chopped peanut butter cups, divided. Hint- much easier if you have these in the freezer first. Easier to chop up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a med. bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a larger bowl, combine the butter, peanut butter and both sugars. Beat until light and fluffy. Add in egg, vanilla and milk. Blend until smooth. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients. Add 1 1/2 C chopped peanut butter cups and fold in gently with a spatula.

Drop large rounds of dough onto the baking sheets. Gently press a few pieces of the reserved peanut butter cups (if you have any left from eating them), on top of each of the dough balls. Bake 12  minutes-14 minutes, rotating the pans half way through. They will look under baked when you take them out, but don’t worry, they will firm up. You DO NOT want to over bake these. Let col on the baking sheet about 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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