Peanut Butter and Jam Volcaones
Carrie Brown, John Werner, and Michael McLaughlin's The Jimtown Store Cookbook, Harper Collins, 2002
Adapted by StarChefs

This is our cookie version of the ole PB & J sandwich. We call them volcanoes because thats what they look like before baking, a shaping trick we developed to keep the generous amount of jam in them from seeping through the bottom as they bake. These are substantial, lunch box-sized treats, suitable for cookie lovers of all ages. (Chiliheads will like these made with hot pepper jam).

Yield: 48 cookies

  • 3/4 cup raw peanuts, hulled
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick margarine, softened, or 1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
  • 1 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup strawberry or other red fruit jam

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. In a shallow metal pan, toast the peanuts in the oven, stirring once or twice, until they are crisp and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately and cool. Coarsely chop the peanuts.

Sift together the flour and baking powder, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and peanut butter with a spoon. Stir in the granulated and brown sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Stir in the flour and baking powder mixture. Add the peanuts and stir until evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Line several sheet pans with parchment paper. Reduce the ovens to 325 degrees.

Divide dough into 1 1/2 inch balls (1 ounce each) and place on the sheet pans 3 inches apart. Press the tines of a fork into the sides of each ball 4 times, producing a flat-topped cone with ridged sides. With a 1/4-teaspoon measure, press a small depression into the flat top of each cookie and fill the depression with jam.**

Bake until lightly browned (the cookies will spread and flatten), 12 to 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets on a rack for at least 5 minutes until firm, and then transfer to racks to cool completely. Serve immediately. Store in an airtight container with waxed paper or parchment paper between the layers for up to one week.

*Note: We use margarine or vegetable shortening in this recipe instead of butter to produce a softer cookie. You may substitute butter if you prefer a crisper cookie. **Some people like a little more jam in their cookies. Dont add more before baking or the jam will sink into the cookies. You can spoon some extra jam into the depressions a few minutes before the cookies are done (but after they have set up a bit) so the jam tastes properly baked, or wait until they are cool.