Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Christmas baking can be incredibly nostalgic. Anytime I bake peanut butter blossoms or mini cheesecake cookies, I imagine being about 8 years old, in the kitchen of my old house, watching my mom bake. I can feel the carpet under my toes, I can see the floral painting on the wall, and if I walk around the corner, I can see the silver and blue garland wrapped around the staircase. There are certain recipes that flat-out have to be made during the holidays, or it’s just not Christmas. Then there are cookies and treats that have been made occasionally, but somehow fall through the cracks some years. These peanut butter cup cookies fall into that category, although how that ever happened with me around is absolutely astonishing. Now that I’ve revived the recipe from the depths of my mom’s recipe books, it will be a Christmas baking staple from now on!

This is one of the easiest cookie recipes you’ll find, and it’s one that will have people going crazy. You pop a little ball of peanut butter dough into a mini muffin pan, bake them until they’re puffy and pale, then take them out of the oven and immediately press a miniature peanut butter cup into the center. Gooey peanut butter cookie meets melty peanut butter cup. It’s cookie and candy perfection, and I will never live through a Christmas season without them again.

I dare you to try to wait an appropriate amount of time before popping at least two of these in your mouth. It’s absolutely impossible. Still warm or not, I have to grab one almost immediately. Pay no attention to the melted chocolate on my hands and crumbs around my mouth ;-)

This is the perfect holiday cookie recipe – quick, easy, and yields a ton! Perfect for making numerous cookie trays to take with you on your holiday visits. Enjoy!

One year ago: Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies
Two years ago: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Three years ago: Nut Crescents

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Yield: 48 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

A holiday classic, straight from my mom's old recipe card!

Ingredients:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
48 miniature Reese's peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Beat together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for another minute or so to combine. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Give the dough a final mix with a rubber spatula to ensure all of the flour is incorporated.

4. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls (about 2 teaspoons worth of dough) and place in the cups of a miniature muffin pan (keep the dough in balls - do not press into the pan).

5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light golden brown and slightly puffy. Remove from the oven and immediately press a miniature peanut butter cup in the middle of each cookie, pressing down so that the top of the peanut butter cup is even with the top of the cookie. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pans, and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.