The bell rings and you’re instantly awoken from the trance you were under for the major part of class. You quickly realize that recess has finally arrived. You anxiously grab your super hero lunchbox and head over to eat with your friends. As you half run, half speed walk to your usual hangout spot you think to yourself, how could you possible get through the rest of the school day? As you open your tin mealbox, you already know what lies inside. A soft and yummy peanut butter and jelly on white bread, crusts cut off. In your head, you thank your mother for always making the best pb&j on the planet. Alas, your world quickly comes to a crashing halt. To your utter horror and astonishment, you notice that your sandwich isn’t that of a peanut butter and jelly, but actually bologna and American on whole wheat bread with seven grains. Toasted. With crusts. You cringe and groan in sad disappointment and start rummaging to see what else your mother has fooled you with. A banana; yuck. Healthy trail mix with raisins and nuts; gross. String cheese; ehh. You commend her for having something present from every food group on the pyramid, and make a mental note to ask where in the world is your PB& J. And then there it is. You spot it, like a lighthouse beam in a dark cold night. A glowing beacon of hope. Wrapped in colored plastic cling, you notice a pile of something sweet and decadent. Perhaps, your day isn’t all that bad after all.
You carefully and oh so precisely unwrap the gift from the heavens. Immediately your nose is pleasantly surprised with the familiar aroma of peanut butter. And there in the center is the perfect amount of jelly. But knowing how your mother knows you well, it’s actually strawberry preserves. You make a leap of joy and start dancing as you eat the first cookie, making sure to hide the rest from your friend’s eyes just in case they get the inconceivable notion of asking you for one. After the second cookie you know for a fact that you’ll make it through the rest of the day. You stash the remaining two in your pocket, and eat them at strategically planned out moments throughout the day, to ensure a blast of happiness in a doldrum class. The bell finally rings to go home and you make a mad dash for your mother’s car. You give her a look of utter approval and thank her for the best cookies in the world. As you go on and on about just how great of a mother she is, she interrupts and say “Yes, there are still cookies at home.” And in hearing those words, you sit back, enjoy the ride and dream of nothing else but recess tomorrow, when you get to have not a PB&J sandwich but PB&J cookies, which you’ll happily have for lunch any day of the week.
Let’s get started. The players in this game:
Butter Granulated Sugar Brown Sugar
Peanut Butter An Egg Salt
All-Purpose Flour Strawberry Preserves Vanilla Extract
We start by starting the same way we always do…..
Well, most of the time.
Throw some softened butter in a mixing bowl.
In order to cream this properly we need some sugar.
How about a little brown sugar?
And I know what you all are thinking. Can granulated sugar join the party as well?
Why of course it can.
I’d be delighted.
Now cream together the sugars and butter on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
Continue to cream together.
Next, add the peanut butter.
Cream together with the butter and the sugars.
Make sure to stop half way, or every so often, to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Allowing everything to get incorporated well.
I know you were all waiting for his grand entrance. Well…..there he is. Enjoy.
Now add the egg.
Whip together until completely combined.
How about some vanilla? Yup, I think its time for it.
Throw it in.
And add in the salt, as well.
A lot of creaming in this recipe.
Add the flour in 1/2 cup additions, so as to not make a mess.
Although, of course, I still manage to get flour everywhere. Oh well.
Mr. Piggy Spat wanted to sneak into the picture.
Mix the flour in just until combined. Try not to over-mix the dough.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, as well.
Okay, okay, last one. He wanted three appearances in this post.
The cookie dough is now finished.
Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The dough needs a chance to chill and firm up.
Once the dough has chilled, remove from the fridge.
Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
Grab your small ice cream/cookie scoop.
And start scooping.
Scoop it into your hand.
Yea, you heard me. Into your hand.
Roll it into a smooth ball.
Drop it into the bowl of raw sugar.
Give it a good toss to coat completely.
And place it on the cookie sheet.
Repeat with the remaining dough, until it is all formed and coated.
Smash them down with the palm of your hand.
Easy, easy….don’t smash them to death.
Just a gentle, light, press.
There you go. That’s the way to do it.
Now, we’re going to make thumbprint indentations.
Using your thumb, make an imprint in the center of the cookie.
And now its time for the “J” in our PB&J cookies.
Grab the jelly.
In all reality I actually like strawberry preserves. So that’s what I used.
I guess that really makes them PB&P cookies: Peanut Butter and Preserve cookies.
Grab a teaspoon full of the preserves or jelly, and drop it into the indentation.
You could use any flavored Jam, Jelly or Preserves you like.
Bake the cookies in a pre-heated 350 degree oven.
Rotating the pans half-way.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until they just start to brown on the edges.
Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
All finished! Serve them up with a tall glass of ice cold milk or pack them in your lunch box for the perfect snack during the day.
Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson via The Food Network.
- 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), room temperature
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup turbinado or raw cane sugar (recommended: Sugar in the Raw)
- 1/3 cup strawberry preserves
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and blend all ingredients on medium-high until creamy. Turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, pushing everything back towards the center. Then add the vanilla, egg, and salt and blend until combined. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the flour in 1/2 cup intervals. Between each addition be sure to completely blend in all the flour and scrape the sides again as before. Once completely combined, scrape the dough out of the mixer and add to a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and, using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough and roll into a ball between your hands. Then roll the formed ball in the turbinado sugar and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the balls, making sure to separate them on the sheet by about 1-inch.
Once all the balls are on the baking sheet, make an indentation in the center of each using the rounded end of a wooden spoon, the back of a rounded teaspoon, or your good old fashioned thumb. Fill the center of each with about 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry preserves. Bake for 12 minutes and remove to a wire rack. Let cool before serving.