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Monday, December 13, 2010

International Blogger Holiday Cookie Exchange: Penny's PB&J Cookies

When Lori at Fake Food Free mentioned on her blog that she and Adrienne at Gastroanthropology were hosting an International Blogger Holiday Cookie Exchange, I jumped at the chance to join. I was quickly paired up with Danielle from A Day in the Life, who emailed me her recipe for Penny's PB&J Cookies.

I finally found the time to dedicate to baking this weekend. I whipped out the recipe, but lo and behold, my cookies didn't turn out like they were supposed to. This was not Danielle's fault or the recipe's fault, but what I term as "Mommy Brain." I started out with the basic recipe (see below), but after two batches, couldn't get the middles to not fall through the center.

These are the three cookies whose centers
didn't fall through as soon as they were picked up!

The cookies tasted good and looked good (as long as you didn't pick them up), but just wouldn't hold together. (I used strawberry and four fruits jams with the peanut butter.) I had run out of peanut butter at this point, and because Danielle had mentioned that she had always wanted to try this recipe with other nut butters, I thought, "Well, I have some Nutella in the cupboard...why don't I try that?!" As I was mixing the butter and the Nutella, it dawned on me that in the first batches, I had put in a whole stick of butter...when it actually called for a half of a stick. Phew! Problem solved...I thought.

So, I added the same amount of Nutella as I would have peanut butter. Apparently, though, Nutella must have a different consistency than p.b. because I still had the same problem. So, the lessons I learned from this cookie exchange: read the directions and Nutella doesn't always work in everything. :-) The taste was good--I used fig jam and orange marmalade, both of which were tasty, but messy.

This batch yielded one photographable cookie.

So, although the cookies didn't turn out exactly as planned, I had fun in the process. My daughter helped with loading the cookies with jam, and the whole family had a fun time laughing at the holey cookies.

And for the record, Danielle says that these have worked for her and her whole family loves them! :-)

Penny's PB&J Cookies
makes 2-3 dozen
from Every Day with Rachel Ray

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons plus 1 tsp strawberry jelly (or any flavor you have on hand)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a mixer, blend 3/4 cup of the peanut butter with the butter on medium speed. Add the both sugars and beat until smooth, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated. Stir in the reserved flour mixture until just combined.

3. Using a small (1 1/2 inch) ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop the dough 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Using the back of a melon baller or your thumb, gently dent the center of each cookie. Spoon about 1/2 tsp of jelly into each center. Bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack.

4. In a small bowl, beat together the remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter and the confectioners' sugar. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until the frosting reaches a good consistency for piping. Using a resealable sandwich bag with a tiny corner snipped off, pipe the frosting over the cookies.

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Danielle December 13, 2010 at 3:55 PM  

Oh no! You poor thing. I admire your efforts to try this recipe not once, not twice, but 3 times! That's a lot of ingredients, not to mention time. I'm sorry they didn't turn out for you and even though you'll probably never want to see the recipe again, they are really good if you ever want to try again! That is, if the recipe isn't in the trash already - which is exactly what I would have done after all your trials and tribulations! Thanks for trying.

Chef Fresco December 17, 2010 at 3:13 PM  

Haha that is some dedication! I bet they still were delicious though. Sometimes I also fail to read the recipe correctly. At least the pb&nutella make for a delicious cookie!

Lori December 17, 2010 at 10:41 PM  

I had the same thing happen to me with one of my favorite thumb print cookie recently. I had made the recipe a few weeks before perfect, next time no-go. Thanks for the honest post and for participating. They definitely look good and sound good!

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