Sunday, November 14, 2004
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
These are mini-PB cups pressed into a "tart shell" of peanut-butter cookie dough. And they are addictive. We usually use mini-Reese's, but I note that Safeway has a house brand mini PB cup that is pretty good.
I have started making them myself (rather than just begging when I went home) and have started some other people on this path. At least now I don't have to hoard the cookies in the freezer.
If you don't have a mini-muffin pan, aka a mini-cupcake pan (where the cups are about 2" apart), you will need to get one or more for this recipe. Target has a 24 cup non-stick one for a reasonable price. Buy non-stick if you are getting one.
This works fine with margarine (if you are trying to save money) and store brand peanut butter. If you use natural style PB and it has seperated, a tip I gakked from one of my mags was to put the jar on the counter for a while, upside down; the oil will start reintegrating.
It does take a bit of planning for the timing, as the cookies do need to set up in their pan for at least an hour, and half day/all day is better. Do not rush this part of the process. Fortunately they don't take long to actually bake, so I will do a batch before I go to work (and let it set up all day), and then before I go to bed (and let it set overnight).
I measure the PB after using the half cup measure for flour, and/or line the cup with saran wrap.
n.b. Title edited, in case this gets passed around ...
Charlotte's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup softened margarine or butter
and beat till light and fluffy, whether by hand or in an electric mixer.
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (you can use chunky at a pinch)
1 large egg (room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla
blend for several minutes.
Add dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt, more if PB is unsalted
and fold in. Batter will be fairly loose. Chill some hours or overnight. Put the bags of PB cups in the fridge too.
To bake: Preheat oven to 350 F.
Bring dough out at the same time you start the oven preheating. I sometimes use this time to unwrap the PB cups (which I put back in the fridge ... this is the one thing you want cold). I use my trusty 1" scoop to portion it out. Try for a scant fill (around half the scoop) as that means that you will get more cookies. Seriously, it doesn't need a lot, and the baking soda will make it puff out.
After all the cups of the pan are filled (or water put in the empties!) I wash my hands and poke my index fingers in the center of each dough ball (a la thumbprint cookies). This will help it cook better, but by all means, don't worry about making little tart shells.
Bake for six or seven minutes, or until it is starting to get browner on the edges.
While the cookies are baking, make sure all the candy is unwrapped. If the candy is cold, I can easily unwrap 24 in seven minutes. It takes longer if the candy is warm.
When the timer goes off, remove the pans from the oven. The cookies will have puffed. Using the pads of your thumb or fingers, firmly place a peanut butter cup in the middle of each cookie "pillow". Cookie edges should be even with or above the candy, as much as possible.
Place back in the oven for 45 seconds to one minute. No longer. Remove and cool on racks for some time until the chocolate has set back up again. This will take at least an hour. Do not rush this part.
Makes 4-7 dozen depending on how skimpy you scoop the peanut butter cookies. Be sure to get at least two bags of mini-PB cups. I highly recommend refrigerating or freezing; in warm environments, the chocolate will start melting again.
For flavors the guests will fill Chinese take out containers to take homemade cookies home. I love this recipe, simple, different and delicious.
Go to the web site at www.bellplantation.com to preview
and order it ! Enjoy !
Happy baking, everyone!