Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Day Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies

I adore February.  I love that there is a little more sunshine filtering through my windows.  I love that I can buy tulips at the grocery store.  And I love that we focus just a little bit more on how much we love those special people that we have in our lives.  At our house, it's Love Month.  And nothing in the world says, "I love you" to my husband quite like peanut butter cookies. 
I make these cookies often and I have used different fillings for them.  I have used Michigan Tart Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Grape and even milk chocolate.  The monsters prefer strawberry, which is what I used here. 

The ingredients are very straightforward and probably things that you already have on hand. 
For four dozen cookies, you will need:
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cups of your favorite jam, seedless works best
1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Sift together your dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
3.  Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Be mindful that you are scraping down the sides of the bowl.
4.  Add the peanut butter and then the eggs, one at a time and mix until well incorporated.
5.  Slowly add the dry ingredients.  Slowly.  Unless of course you want flour on the ceiling.  In that case, rock it out.  Send me pictures. 
6.  Do not overmix this dough.  You want soft and fluffy, not hockey puck.
7.  Once everything is happily incorporated, the dough should have almost a playdoh consistency.  It should be very easy to handle.  Roll the dough into balls about 1 to 1-1/2 Tablespoon size.  You don't want them too small because you won't be able to add the heart without the cookie falling apart.  Find the size that you are comfortable with.

**If you would like to freeze this dough, go right ahead.  Once I roll the dough into individual balls, I fill a half sheet pan with them and stick them in the freezer until they are frozen through.  Once completely frozen, add to a Ziploc bag.  Whenever you are ready to bake them, just set however many you need out on the counter for about 20 minutes and you will be ready to proceed to the next step.** 

8.  Now that you have lined up the dough balls on your cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner, please) then you will need to gently flatten them with the bottom of a glass.  Don't pancake them, just flatten the top so that you give yourself a smooth surface to work with.
9.  Using the end of a wooden spoon, make three indentations so that they form an inverted triangle.  That usually gives me the best guide on how to make my heart. 
10.  Slide these in the oven for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  You did preheat your oven, yes?

11.  After 12 minutes, you can see that the indentations puffed up a bit.  Take the wooden spoon again and just flatten out the hearts again.
12.  Warm up your jam in the microwave about 20-30 seconds, or until it is smooth and easily stirred.  This will make your life easier as you take a spoon and gently pour the warmed jam into the heart indentations.  Slow and steady.
13.  Once all of the hearts have been filled, slide them back into the oven for an additional seven minutes. 

And there you go.  Perfectly adorable cookies for that special someone on Valentine's Day.  What are you baking this February?


1 comment:

Juliana said...

Oh WOW these look yummy! I am going to have to give these a try!!!