Last year I did a whole Christmas Cookie series called the Twelve days of Christmas cookies and treats. Everyone loved all of my delicious treats and I was on a permanent sugar high until the new year! This holiday season, I'm taking a little more practical and sensible approach for Christmas and doing everything homemade aside from just cookies and treats. I'll list some homemade Christmas gift ideas that will be perfect for your friends, family, neighbors and even those lovable yet quirky co-workers. I saved the idea from Shawnda's Christmas posts from last year and used a couple of her suggestions.
To start of the series, I wanted to use up some of my hidden stash of Halloween candies. (Hanging my head in shame.) For some odd reason, I had a handful of Reese's peanut butter cups still in my stash. I promise that I gave out handfuls of candy to the kiddos, but this was just the one candy that never left my house. The best way to use up these Reese's peanut butter cups were in either baked up or eaten. Plus, I had some of the mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's that were perfect on top of these sinful treats.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Adapted from Annie's Eats
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon peanut butter (I used a mix of creamy & crunchy)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped and divided
*Note: Freeze the peanut butter cups for at least 30 minutes before chopping. It makes them easier to chop and helps them stay intact when you fold them into the cookie dough.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until blended. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, vanilla extract and milk. Blend until combined, and scrape down the sides if needed. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients until incorporated. Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups and fold gently with a spatula.
Using a medium or large cookie scoop (about 2 to 3 tablespoons) drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared sheets. Gently press a couple of the reserved peanut butter cups into the top of the cookies.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking (if you don't have a convection oven). Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes and transfer to the cooling rack to cool immediately.
**Cookies may seem extra soft after coming out of the oven but they will set when they are cooled.**
Yield: 24 medium sized cookies or if you go bigger (about 16 to 18)
Review: Who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate? It's the one of the best sweet peanut-ty combinations that I love and adore, next to peanut butter and jelly. I made this batch specifically for my cute nephews and niece that I don't see too often. I prepped them in cute little Christmas cookie bags so they could have something sweet when my sisters' deemed they were doing extra good that day.
From what my sisters told me, the kiddos loved it and were totally excited for their bags. Who wouldn't love a preview of sweet Christmas treats before the big C-day right? The funny thing, the big kids like my brother-in-law loved the cookies as well (I packed a couple extra bags) and called to thank me for the best cookie ever and to tell his wife (my sister) the recipe. He wants another batch!!! Thanks Duaine! And ahem, Karen - make these cookies!!!