Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine's Day Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies

Otherwise known as my new favorite cookie of all time. That is right, people. Of.all.time.

You can find the original recipe here. For four dozen cookies (instead of the two dozen called for in the original recipe) you will need:
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam, stirred
  • 1/3 cup seedless strawberry jam, stirred
This is one of those recipes that is easily adaptable for kids. It isn't finicky and yes, it's a little time-consuming, but there are lots of opportunities for little hands to help out.

Sift together your dry ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of the bowl often. Add the peanut butter and then the eggs. Mix until fully incorporated. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

The dough should now be almost a play-doh consistency. It was easily rolled into balls and not at all sticky. If you find it to be sticky, put it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and then proceed.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls. The actual amount is just about 2 Tablespoons. You want them to be a little bit big because it makes it easier to add the hearts later.

You can absolutely freeze the dough at this point. Freeze them individually on a cookie sheet and once they are frozen, throw them into a Ziploc bag. When you are ready to use them, put the bag in your refrigerator for an hour so that they can thaw a bit and then proceed.

Slightly flatten the cookies with the bottom of a drinking glass. Don't get too carried away, you want the thickness. Space the cookies about an inch and a half apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Since my fingers are of the short and stubby variety and they are not at all helpful in pressing delicate hearts into cookies. However, the end of my wooden spoon is the perfect alternative.

Once you have completed this step, pop the cookie sheets into the fridge for 20 minutes to chill. Then, bake for 12 minutes in your preheated oven.

At the end of 12 minutes, remove the cookies and then reshape the heart in your cookie. You will find that it has gotten puffy in the oven. Flatten it out using the wooden spoon. Then fill the indented heart shape with your choice of seedless jam. I used strawberry for the first batch and raspberry for the second. Bake for an additional 7 minutes.

Brad, who hates it when I mess with his peanut butter cookies, has pronounced these to be his new favorite cookies. This man has never loved anything except plain old peanut butter cross-hatched cookies, so this is big. They will make the prefect addition to the ten thousand (or three) Valentine's Day parties that they kids will be having at school. Yum.

I hope that your February is full of cookies!


Lisa said...

I love that heart shaped indent in your cookies. It really makes your thumbprints look special. I have a sweet treat linky on my blog every week called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link your cookies up.

Jena said...

How fun! I wonder if I could adapt it w/out peanut butter as my kids are not allowed to bring peanut treats to school. Thanks for sharing!

Sara Zenger said...

yummy! Thanks for sharing!

MommaSaid said...

I... think I need to thank you for introducing me and my lil 3 1/2 year old to a cookie he can help make! This looks like so much fun. Thank you!