peanut butter cookies
Rose's Christmas Cookies, William Morrow & Co., Inc. 1991)
the oven to: 375°F.
Baking time: 10 to 12 minutes
Moist, chewy and very peanutty!
yield: about 5 dozen 1 3/4-inch cookies
milk chocolate topping
- 1 cup (measured by dip & sweep) bleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, preferably superfine
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter (preferably Jiff)
- 1 large egg - 3 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract . .
*preferably Lindt chocolate cherry preserves topping
- 2 (3-ounce bars) milk chocolate*
- 2 (3 ounce bars) bittersweet chocolate*
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
equipment - ungreased cookie sheets, 1 1/4-inch cookie scoop or
a measuring teaspoon.
- 1 1/2 (12 ounce) jars Cherry Preserves
Place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
Preheat oven to 375°F at least 15 minutes before baking time.
food processor method
Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; then
whisk to mix evenly. In a food processor with the metal blade, process
the sugars for several minutes until very fine. Cut the butter into
a few pieces and add it with the motor running. Add the peanut butter
and process until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract
and process until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add
the flour mixture and pulse in just until incorporated.
electric mixer method or by hand
Soften the butter. Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking
soda, and salt. Whisk to combine well. Set aside. In a mixing bowl,
beat the sugars until well mixed. Add the butter and peanut butter and
beat for several minutes, until very smooth and creamy. Add the egg
and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated, scraping the sides
of the bowl. At low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture just
for both methods
Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or
overnight. (This keeps the dough from cracking when shaped.) Measure
the dough into a 1 1/4-inch cookie scoop or 2 level teaspoons and roll
it between the palms of your hands to shape 1-inch balls. Place the
balls 1 1/2-inches apart on the cookie sheets. As soon as you roll each
ball, use your index finger or the handle of a wooden spoon to make
a depression going down almost tot he cookie sheet in the center of
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and set. For even
baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back
halfway through the baking period. Cool the cookies on the sheets for
a few minutes or until firm enough to lift. Use a small angled metal
spatula or pancake turner to transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool
completely. If necessary, while the cookies are still hot, use the greased
handle of a wooden spoon to deepen the depressions. Fill the centers
with the cherry preserves or milk chocolate toppings. While the cookies
are baking, prepare the chocolate or cherry topping:
In the upper container of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering,
water on low heat, or a microwave on high power (stirring every 10 seconds)
melt the chocolate. Remove the upper container from the heat before the
chocolate is fully melted and stir until blended. Whisk in the softened
butter. The mixture will thicken immediately. Do not over whisk. Use a
reclosable quart-size freezer bag with one corner cut off to pipe the
chocolate into the centers the cookies or use a small metal spatula to
spread on a dollop. Allow the chocolate to set until firm before storing
the cookies in airtight containers.
cherry preserves topping
In a microwave oven or a saucepan, heat the preserves until boiling.
Strain the jelly into a small heavy saucepan. Place the cherries remaining
in the strainer in the centers of the cookies. If some are crushed,
piece them together. On medium heat, boil the jelly for about 5 minutes,
stirring constantly until, when it is dropped from the stirring spoon,
the last drops gather to form one large sticky drop that hangs from
the spoon. The jelly will be reduced to about 3/4 cup. Allow the jelly
to cool about 1 minute or until the bubbling stops. Spoon heaping 1/4
to 1/2 teaspoons over each cherry.
Cookies filled with chocolate can be stacked in an airtight container
at room temperature. Cookies with cherry centers need to be placed in
single layers in a airtight containers at room temperature. Do not cover
the surface of the cookie with plastic wrap as the cherry center remains
keeps: 1 month filled, several months unfilled
pointers for successUse commercial peanut butter for the best texture and flavor. Homemade
and health food varieties will not be as smooth.
Superfine sugar will result in fewer cracks in the cookie. To make
your own, simply process fine granulated sugar in the food processor
for a few minutes or until as fine as sand.