I was lucky enough to spend the evening with S-J’s small son recently and as his mothers were walking out the door, E mentioned that I sounded like I wanted to bake something but that sadly they were out of everything I’d need. I sort of waved her off and thought, I’ll be fine, no baking for me!
But then I sat there on the couch, cookie-less, and you know me, right? You can’t say I can’t bake, because, well, then I obviously have to.
So I scoured their pantry and fridge and came up with a cookie based on a few I love sort of mashed together a bit. I wanted a bit of variation as well so I split the dough in half and made two batches of these thick and nutty yums! If there is one thing I can say about S-J, it’s that the woman knows how to stock a house with good ingredients for inspiration.
Peanut Butter (or PB+J Thumbprint) Cookies
2/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, pick your poison)
1/4 cup hazelnut spread (Nutella is fine)
1/4 – 1/2 cup cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda (I will omit this next time, I don’t think it was necessary and I could almost taste it)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup berry jam (optional)
12 Hershey Kisses (or any chocolate you like)
Preheat oven to 170C
Make the dough
In a large bowl combine the nut mixtures, and beat well with the cream (start with 1/4 cup) and vanilla with a wooden spoon (or do this in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment). You should have a mixture the consistency of a soft frosting (if it’s too stiff, add the rest of the cream and beat again). Beat in the sugars next. Once all incorporated, mix in the flour until you have soft dough ball.
Form your cookies
Pinch of golfball sized chunks of dough and space them evenly on a lined cookie sheet/baking tray. For the standard cookie, dip a fork into some flour and gently press a criss-cross pattern while slightly flattening out the cookie. These do not spread much so make them about the size you want them to be.
For thumbprint cookies
Roll balls of dough and place evenly spaced on your lined cookie sheet. Using your thumb, create a dent in the top of the cookie. For PB+J cookies, fill this dent with jam. For chocolate cookies, bake first and then while hot, gently push a (unwrapped) Kiss into the dent, the heat from the cookie will melt the chocolate enough to secure it.
Bake cookies for 10 – 14 minutes depending on how soft/crunchy you like them. Rotate your trays if your oven is prone to uneven baking.