Let’s start at the very beginning …

Double peanut-chocolate chip cookies.

… a very good place to start. Except I won’t because I didn’t.

The recipe for peanut butter ‘n jellies is the base recipe for seven peanut butter cookie variations in Sharon Tyler Herbst’s The Joy of Cookies, but I started on impulse with the variation double peanut-chocolate chip cookies rather than the one from which this recipe springs. Basically a peanut butter cookie, these call for an elimination of the jelly and salt (the latter of which I inadvertently doubled instead, idiot that I am), as well as the addition of finely chopped salted peanuts and chocolate chips to the recipe. Fortunately, we had lightly salted peanuts on hand, and so they aren’t completely inedible. I am fond of chocolate, and I enjoy peanut butter, but I’ve never been a fan of the “two great tastes that taste great together” (I just dated myself horribly by trotting out that old jingle, didn’t I?) and this recipe is no exception to that personal rule. They are good despite their saltiness, just not my favorites.

Peanut butter honeys.

The next variation, however, are by far my favorite peanut butter cookie of all time. Peanut butter honeys call for one less egg than the base recipe, 1/4 cup of honey, and no jelly. They are rolled into balls and flattened with fork criss-crosses (as are the double peanut-chocolate chip cookies), and the extra sugar caramelizes beautifully and deliciously. Wonderful!

Finally, finishing out this cookie-baking extravaganza, I decided to give the base recipe a try. For this cookie, the batter is rolled into balls and flattened with the bottom of a drinking glass, after which I put a deep thumbprint in the middle of each, nearly to the cookie sheet. While they were cooling I filled the indentation with a little raspberry jelly. Pretty and delicious! And while the other two varieties are crisp, these are delicately soft.

Peanut butter 'n jellies.

Sharon Tyler Herbst recommends crunchy peanut butter for all eight of these recipes. I am partial to Skippy’s extra crunchy Super Chunk for cookie-baking and for sandwiches, so that’s what I used. Good stuff, although probably not all that good for me.

Those three batches filled the upstairs freezer with cookies that will last a good long while if we can restrain ourselves and eat them in moderation… Looking most sternly in my direction here. This weekend I plan to try one other recipe before the work week begins in earnest on Monday. Triple chocolate drops, this time. No peanut butter required. White crème de cacao is, however, so to the liquor store I must go! Hope they sell it in smallish bottles.

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About pattiblaine

Raised under the name of Snyder in the upstate NY town of Vestal, I've worked as a typesetter, a fast food salad bar tender, an art reviewer, a waitress, a part-time nanny, and a very-bad-with-phones temp. Once upon a time I was all-but-thesis toward a Masters in Art History. Now I'm just a mom with a lot of fiber squirreled away throughout the house. We call it insulation. In 2013 I completed a life-long learning program at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and am a postulant toward the diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, NY. In addition to coordinating volunteers for the soup kitchen, I volunteer as a tutor at a deeply impoverished city elementary school, and am a docent at the Memorial Art Gallery.
This entry was posted in Extracurricular, On the fly (aka from a mobile device), The Joy of Cookies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Let’s start at the very beginning …

  1. I’m glad you mentioned that you freezer these batches of cookies. Speaking as one who has no will power to resist cookies when they are in my house, I was wondering how you manage to live with so many cookies in your home.

    Could almond butter be substituted for the peanut butter in any or all of these recipes?

    • pattiblaine says:

      I think almond butter would be a great substitute for peanut butter in all three of these, Elizabeth. You’d probably want to lower the sugar amounts, however, as it’s naturally sweeter stuff than peanut butter. As to how much sugars to reduce? That might require some research and kitchen-testing…. yum!

  2. D'Alta says:

    I only dream of making cookies. I get distracted while they’re baking and burn most of them…so sometimes I make bar cookies. Mostly, I buy cookies or a cookie when I want one–no self-restraint when there are cookies in the house!

    • pattiblaine says:

      I have to hang out in the kitchen and attend to the timer, or I’d burn more than I generally do. The time lost to getting them baked is one of the costs I factor into deciding whether to begin a batch or not!

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