It may sound cocky – or a little too strong – but I swear to you these are the best peanut butter cookies ever. They’re soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside, and oh so sweet. The original recipe came from my beloved Magnolia Bakery cookbook and I haven’t looked back since. The first time I made them, I shared them with a few of B’s friends and his friend Steve even commented, “These are the best peanut butter cookies ever.” And Steve himself is a good cook/baker!
Anyway, don’t just trust me — or Steve — you should make these yourself.* The below recipe is with slight modifications, but I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted this because I used salted butter)
- 1/2 c butter, room temperature
- 1 cup your favorite peanut butter (I’ve made these with creamy JIF peanut butter and with chunky natural Smuckers. In the case of the crunchy, I just cut down on the amount of peanuts I add in the end)
- 3/4 c granulated sugar + 3-4 TB sugar for rolling the dough
- 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 TBS milk (I used the only milk I had on hand- unsweetened almond coconut milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c peanut butter chips
- 3/4 c chopped peanuts (If using chunky peanut butter, you can use less nuts here, probably 1/4 c)
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter together until creamy.
- Add sugars and beat until smooth. Add egg, milk and vanilla extract and mix well until fluffy.
- Add flour mixture in about 1/2 c at a time and beat thoroughly.
- Stir in peanut butter chips and peanuts.
- Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into a bowl of 3-4 TBS granulated sugar.
- Place cookie balls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, at least two inches apart. Using a fork, push down on dough balls and lightly indent the balls with a criss-cross pattern. Do not flatten cookies too much – you don’t want smooshed cookies!
- Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies may seem soft and underdone but DO NOT OVERBAKE. They will bake a little more out of the oven and be PERFECT.
- Cool cookies on cookie sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Mouth watering yet? All you need is a glass of milk and you can enjoy these yourself. *Or better yet- I will MAIL YOU these cookies! That’s right – as I mentioned earlier this week, I’m participating in a blogger bake sale, to benefit Jordan’s Family Foundation. Since it’s for a good cause – what’s stopping you?
Who wouldn’t buy these for a good cause?
- Use 1 c. semi-sweetened chocolate chunks instead of the peanut butter chips for a more chocolatey flavor
- Not a huge chocoholic? Use 1/2 c. peanut butter chips, 1/2 c. semi-sweetened chocolate chips for a peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
- Flatten cookies out with your hand and omit the fork crossing step. Then press halved peanuts (outer side facing up) to the top of the cookie. That’s what I did on the second photo above.
Brrr! What a COLD week we had last week. I know it was that way in most of the country – but that thought did not warm me as I was walking to work in the single digits (“feels like -30something” with the windchill). I seriously bundled up and wasn’t ashamed – I had my mittens, scarf, hat AND furry hood. Don’t worry, I took a selfie for you.
Remind me not to take pictures of myself looking like this again.
Anyway, there’s not much you can do when the weather’s cold besides bundle up, eat a lot of soup, run on a treadmill – and of course bake! Don’t you agree? And with the weather so cold, it was only fitting to make a buttery shortbread cookie (borrowed from Ina Garden) – and shape them like mittens. Cute, don’t you think?
Mitten Cookies! (Or Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies)
Here’s what you need:
- 3/4 pound butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup semi-sweetened chocolate chips
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Mix well with an electric mixer until combined. Add in vanilla and mix well.
- Add in flour and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dough should be well combined and not powdery. Shape dough into a ball and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- After dough is chilled, roll out the dough and cut with your cookie cutter into fun shapes. I thought I had a mitten cutter – but I didn’t. Whoops! So instead I free cut a few fun shapes (beer, a B for B, and some more) and then made a mitten stencil out of thick paper and traced that with a knife.
- Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are light brown.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
Once cool, you can melt chocolate and dip your dough shapes in them!
- Put about 1 c. chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Your chocolate won’t be melted yet (likely) but continue to stir and nuke the chocolate in 30 second intervals until it’s fully melted- this will help to ensure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
- Dip the cookie in the chocolate. I dipped the bottom of the mittens and then sprinkled them with sprinkles to make them the way they are. But you could also drizzle you cookies with chocolate as well.
the paper mitten I drew for a template … and other cookies in the background
some cookies cooling, some cookies ready for the oven
some other fun shapes I cut
Let the countdown begin – Christmas Eve will be here in just a week! If you’re looking for a great cookie to add to your holiday cookie collection, look no further – here is a keeper.
Thumbprint Cookies with Raspberry Jam are a staple in my household and one of the cookies we have nearly every year during the holidays. When my friend Melgar, who typically joins us for dessert during the holidays (but sadly won’t be there this year), asked me to share the recipe, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t already posted it here! So here you go – enjoy!
Thumbprint Cookies with Jam
Here’s what you need:
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- about 1/4 c jam of your choice – I love raspberry!
Here’s what you do:
- Cream butter with sugar in large bowl of electric mixer until fluffy.
- Beat in egg yolks and vanilla, stopping machine as necessary to scrape down sides of bowl.
- Add flour and continue beating just until mixed through; do not overbeat or cookies will be tough.
- Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes for firmer cookies that will not spread very much.
- Shape dough into 2 tbs. size balls* and flatten with your palms. Transfer to cookie sheet.
- Smooth and round cookies using knife (or your finger) dipped in cool water. To make a simple filled cookie, press thumb into formed cookie to make an indentation. Fill with jam.
- Transfer to greased baking sheets.
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake cookies one sheet at a time until edges are brown and centers are just firm to touch, about 8-10 minutes. Cool on racks.
Makes about 2 dozen or so cookies.
*Feeling crafty and have extra time? Feel free to roll out dough and cut into cute, festive shapes instead of shaping dough into balls, before putting thumbprint onto dough.
Plus, as always, some questions for you:
- Have you made these before? What do you do that’s different?
- What’s your favorite type of jam?
- What’s your favorite holiday cookie? I love these! And Buckeyes, do they count?
And here are two more of my favorite holiday cookies:
After spending a pretty full day exploring San Francisco, we still had a few more items on our to-do list – including meeting up with one of my best friends, Melgar! Melgar lives just south of downtown and was going to take the train in so that we could spend some time sightseeing with her, and then we would stay with her in her new apartment in Mountain View (she just moved to Cali from the East Coast a few months ago when her fiancé got a job at Apple). Melgar and I have been friends for 16 years, which is truly weird to think of – AND I’m going to be in her wedding in a few months!!! Anyway, I digress. Our last day in the Bay Area included:
Exploring the Castro
Harvey Milk’s Camera Shop
Trying to watch a sailing race in America’s Cup
Enjoying some awesome fish tacos (and an unlimited salsa bar!!) in the Mission
Nom nom shrimp tacos!
Ready to eat!
LOOK AT ALL THE SALSA!
Spending the night at Melgar’s – we enjoyed a home-cooked meal (her fiancé is not only amazing because he works at Apple, but he apparently also is a great cook!)
Sorry, Jon, but Instagram doesn’t do this meal justice. IT WAS AMAZING.
And then dessert at my new favorite place Cream! Why is it so awesome?, because it combines my two favorite desserts – ice cream AND fresh baked cookies!
I enjoyed some awesome peanut butter ice cream, in between a chocolate chip cookie AND a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. OH MY GOODNESS. It is a strong competitor to fro yo for my favorite.
Melgar and me before Cream! (I told you, no sweaty running pics!)
No sweaty pics, but we also got to go on a short run with Melgar before we left for LA. Which was fun – Melgar likes to sprint so she definitely pushed us on our 3 miler around Mountain View!
After a quick trip, we were on our way down the coast – to L.A.!
Some questions –
- Have you ever been to San Fran? The Bay Area? What do you like about it? Not like about it? The weather is typically just so-so – as was said on an old episode of 30 Rock “Aww poor baby. Can’t hack it in the big city, gonna move to the Bay Area now and pretend that that was your dream the whole time? Have fun always carrying a light sweater.” We lucked out – again – and had gorgeous warm weather most of the time in San Fran. The locals were commenting how it was seasonably warm, which I enjoyed, very much!
- What’s your favorite dessert? Ice cream, cookies and candy. I love baking cake/cupcakes, but would prefer to eat cookies!
- Do you have friends that live on opposite coasts? Yes. Sadly, it seems that quite a few of my friends moved out west after college (in Boston). But it makes for some great people to visit and vacations to plan!
More vacation recaps from our West Coast Adventure can be found here:
Happy Birthday Samantha! My fabulous coworker Samantha is celebrating her birthday today. This is Samantha (and me):
Sadly, Samantha is moving and will no longer work just a few doors down from me in just a few months. SO for her birthday, I wanted to make sure she got something EXTRA special from the kitchen of koskim (does that have a ring to it?). Samantha’s favorite candy is Butterfinger. Which is a great candy to love, if you ask me. As you can tell – I love Butterfinger. I’ve blogged before about baking other Butterfinger goodies, like Butterfinger Bars, cookies with Butterfinger and so on.
Anyway, enter the Peanut Butter Butterfinger Fudge Bars. I found a similar version of them on Shugary Sweets blog and knew I had to make them for Samantha’s big day – with a few minor changes of course.
Here you go. They are delicious. She loved them. As did I. And now you can too!
Peanut Butter Butterfinger Fudge Bars
Here’s what you need:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar (I usually use light brown sugar, but since B had bought me dark brown sugar by accident last week I had to use that. It was fine!)
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp milk (I used what I had on hand – unsweetened coconut almond milk. Nobody knew, I swear)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup peanut butter chips (about 1/2 a regular sized bag)
- 12oz milk chocolate morsels
- 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 bag of Butterfingers that you crush! I had a 12.5 size bag of fun size and crushed them all
Here’s what you do:
- For the bottom cookie layer: Beat butter and brown sugar in mixing bowl until combined. Add peanut butter. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla. Add in flour and baking soda. Press dough (it will be sticky! you may need to flour your hands first) into a 15x10x1 jelly roll baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
- For peanut butter layer: Sprinkle cup of peanut butter chips evenly throughout the dough. Place cookies in oven for another minute. Peanut chips should melt. Spread evenly over the cookie dough, forming almost a peanut buttery frosting. Let cool somewhat so peanut butter layer hardens.
- For the fudge layer: Heat condensed milk in small saucepan until warm. Add in the milk chocolate and continue to stir until smooth. Pour fudge over hardened peanut butter layer. Top with crushed Butterfingers, pressing them into the fudge lightly. Allow to cool completely and cut into small bars.
I’ve been wanting to make cookies all week. It’s been too long. But last weekend we traveled, and I was super busy slash sick last weekend, so baking has been on the backburner (is that a pun?). Anyway, this weekend we celebrated Memorial Day with B’s family and I was keeping my fingers crossed that we’d be assigned desserts, so I could make some of my favorite Red, White and Blue Desserts, or even some new truffles that I’ve been dying to make. Long story short, we were assigned appetizers (which made for some cooking adventures – we brought Buffalo Chicken Dip and Garlicky White Bean Dip, recipes coming soon!), so I thought I’d go another weekend without baking. That didn’t happen. Sunday night, after dinner, B took a nap, so I decided to see what I had in the pantry to bake something. Who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of freshly baked cookies?
I found a whole lotta stuff – oats, pretzels, white chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, Butterfinger bars, M&Ms, Rice Krispies (leftover from the Nutella Rice Krispie Treats) and more – so I decided to bake with all of that. Some people call these Garbage Cookies, others call them Compost Cookies … I’m just calling them Everything In My Pantry Cookies. Because if you find something that sounds like it would be good in a cookie – why not?
Everything In My Pantry Cookies
Here’s what you need:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ c brown sugar
- 2 large eggs (I used ¼ c Egg Beaters plus 1 organic egg)
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 1 ½ c flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ¾ c oats (I had Instant on hand)
- ½ c butter pretzels, crumbled
- 1 handful M&Ms
- ½ c mini semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ c white chocolate chips
- ½ c peanut butter chips
- 5 Fun Size Butterfingers, crushed
- 2 ½ c Rice Krispies
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix butter and sugars until creamy. Add vanilla and continue mixing. Then add eggs and beat well.
- Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture and combine well.
- Add in oats and pretzels, and then add in whatever you happen to have on hand. I added the m&ms, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, crushed Butterfinger, and then the Rice Krispies last (so they stayed crispy, not mushy).
- Keep the batter in the fridge for 1 hour, or 30 min in the freezer to help them from spreading when you bake them. I’m not 100% sure that they’d spread because I didn’t try baking these without this step, but they didn’t spread and I froze them so I’m going with it.
- Use a fun cookie scooper to scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown, then allow to cool on a rack.
here’s what I used!
Enjoy! I promise they taste better than they look.
A week ago, a coworker mentioned she had some extra Nutella laying around – she had bought some a while ago but didn’t seem to be using it. I immediately jumped at the chance to take it off her hands – and of course try a few recipes I’d been eyeing.
When I found myself with a completely unopened jar on my hands, I wasn’t sure what to make. B doesn’t really like Nutella – but if it were a recipe that had just a subtle hint of Nutella , among other flavors, that may do. I saw a recipe for a peanut butter pretzel bar – and it looked amazing. Seeing that, I thought – what could make that better? Nutella! And these bars were born.
I have two warnings for you if you try to make them:
1. They are addicting. They are SO good and taste amazing.
2. The pretzel crust and peanut butter didn’t hold too well together, so they didn’t look too nice. but since they tasted amazing, I didn’t really care. That’s why I’ve added the following note:
NOTE: I need to make this recipe again, with the proposed suggestions:
- IF I decide to continue with a pretzel crust, I would recommend making sure the pretzels are finely ground to help them stay. The crust didn’t stay as well as I wanted
- I think next time I would prefer to have the bottom layer be peanut butter, middle layers be chocolate and then Nutella and then sprinkle pretzels or heath bar on top
Peanut Butter, Nutella, Chocolate Pretzel Bars
Here’s what you need:
- 3 cups crushed butter flavored pretzels
- 1 cup melted butter plus 1 1/2 c butter, softened
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1 box graham crackers, crumbled in a food processor
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/4 cup Nutella, divided into 1/4 cup and 1 cup
Here’w what you do:
- Crush the butter pretzels in the blender. Grind well, but not into a powder – it’s good with some texture. Mix the pretzels with 1 c. melted butter and 6 tbsp sugar. Set aside about 1/2 c. of the crushed pretzel mixture and spread the rest into a 9×13 well-greased pan. Bake for 12-15 min in 400 degree oven.
- While the pretzel crust is baking, mix together the rest of the butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners sugar, vanilla and peanut butter until blended and smooth. Pour the mixture over the pretzel crust when cool. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firm.
- In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of Nutella, stirring until smooth. Be careful not to let the chips burn.
- Spread the chocolate Nutella mixture over the peanut butter layer, and refrigerate for another hour, until firm.
- Spread the additional 1 cup of Nutella over the chocolate layer, and refrigerate again. When the bars are firm, cut into squares.
- Enjoy!! I stored mine in the fridge to keep the pretzel crust crunchy.