December 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Reindeer Cookies

When I saw these cookies at Bake at 350, I knew I wanted to make them. And when I made them with a friend prior to Thanksgiving, I knew I wanted to recreate them because they were so delicious. (Any time you get to eat a whole peanut butter cup and a cookie in one treat, it's a good thing. Add in some peanut butter frosting, and you're on your way to bliss.)

We repurposed these for Christmas. We made a much smaller batch of frosting and made a few Christmas owls with scarves, hats, ears and beaks. Since my sacrilegious friend does not like frosting, we came up with this variation to make reindeer. They turned out adorable, despite the fact many have goofy eyes.

Peanut Butter Cup Reindeer Cookies
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup smooth peanut butter
30 full-size peanut butter cups
60 white chocolate chips
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted 
30 to 60 pretzels
30 red M & M candies

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.  Set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the shortening, butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined.  Add in the peanut butter, and mix until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture.

Scoop the dough using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop onto the prepared sheets.  Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 13 minutes, or until the cookies are golden and baked through.  Let them rest on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  The cookies will look poofy out of the oven and deflate as they cool.

To assemble cookies, press a peanut butter cup onto the cookie after they have cooled slightly. (You want the peanut butter cup to melt enough to adhere to the cookie but not become a giant melted blob of deliciousness.) Or, you can use the melted chocolate chips to adhere the peanut butter cup. Press 2 white chocolate chips into each peanut butter cup for eyes. Use melted chocolate or an edible food marker to make the pupils. Use either whole pretzels or break pretzels apart for antlers, whichever look you prefer. Use the melted chocolate to stick an M & M nose on each reindeer. Makes 30 delicious reindeer!

Buckeye Cookies

We like peanut butter in this household. In fact, my baking plans for tomorrow call for 4 cups of peanut butter. That's what I call a good day. (And my toddler will likely agree since he enjoys spoonfuls of peanut butter as a snack.)

When I came across these cookies from Brown-Eyed Baker, I knew I wanted to make them since they remind me of one of our favorite Christmas treats, peanut butter balls.

I showed great restraint in the sampling of these cookies by only eating one. The rest are for my husband to take to deer camp this weekend. I must love him a lot to show such restraint. My toddler didn't show the same restraint with the peanut butter filling, though, as he ate a large portion of it. I used my leftover chocolate dough to wrap a few leftover Oreos to bake up a few surprise cookies.

These are amazing and addictive. They are worth the bit of effort for shaping/rolling.

Buckeye Cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar (plus more for rolling)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with silipats or parchment paper, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

In a separate medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and powdered sugar for the filling until smooth. In a small bowl, put some extra granulated sugar for rolling the cookies.

Use a medium cookie scoop (or heaping tablespoon) of cookie dough, and flatten it with your hands. Take about 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter filling (or a small cookie scoop) and place it in the center of the chocolate dough. Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter center, pressing to seal. Roll the cookie into a ball, and roll in the sugar. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes 2 dozen fairly large cookies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rarely am I concerned about gluten-free recipes, but we have a family friend who visits every year for hunting season who happens to follow a gluten-free diet. When I came across this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod, I knew it would be made for hunting season this year.

These are a definite repeat for cookies. They're not necessarily that healthy with the sugar and hefty dose of peanut butter, but at least they don't contain copious (or any) amounts of butter. They are chewy and delicious!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 
2/3 cups whole oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In small bowl, mix together the oats and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, and then gently fold in chocolate chips.

Roll cookies into 2-inch dough balls, place onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart andthen barely flatten the top of the cookie (with a slightly moistened hand to prevent sticking).

Bake cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, and remove when edges barely begin to turn a golden brown. The cookies may look a little underdone, but they will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Makes about 16 to 20 cookies.