… 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.
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.
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.