Friday, May 13, 2011

#5: Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I did it. I finally did it. I FINALLY brought in treats for my kids at school. Were they appreciative? Maybe for all of two minutes. I bribed my students that if they did the very best they could on our state standard's test, I would bring in something delicious for them to snack on during one of their breaks. The trick was finding something that wouldn't hype them up on tremendous amounts of sugar, and be a large enough batch that I would most definitely have enough of them to share (learned that lesson with the snickerdoodles). After my failure on Saturday afternoon, I was also feeling a little discouraged and wanted an easy recipe that I knew I wouldn't be able to mess up- cue the Peanut Butter Cup Cookies.

Having scrounged the internet, I came across this EASY cookie recipe that also looked like something a kid would REALLY enjoy. Plus they look like I spent all night on them, and that was the guilt trip I laid on my students the next afternoon. The cookies start out as a basic chocolate chip cookie dough, minus the chips, and then you press a miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cup into each cookie- the perfect mix of a chocolate chip cookie and those stinkin' peanut butter blossom cookies you KNOW your mother makes each Christmas.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (recipe found at

2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
48 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven.  Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, 48 miniature muffins tins.
     - I don't know ANYONE that owns that many miniature muffin tins, so I found a set of three tins with 12 muffin cups each at Albertson's for less than four dollars. Do they sell honest to goodness, NICE miniature muffin tins? 
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes).     
     - What is with all of the 'electric mixer' crap? I just pulled out a whisk and went to town. Naturally though, being a little nervous about this "room temperature butter" business, I went ahead and nuked my butter for a total of 45 seconds prior to adding in the sugar. I am NOT dealing with the same issue I had with my cupcakes this last weekend, thank you kindly!

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. 

5. Fill each miniature muffin cup with about one tablespoon of batter. Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges but still soft in the center. 
    - I went for 9 minutes in the oven, and it worked perfectly. AND, being the multi-tasker I am, I spent this time unwrapping ALL of those peanut butter cups... and then was absolutely mystified by the sheer number of cups I had in a measuring cup at one time. So much so, I took a picture...

6. Remove the cookies from the oven, and gently press one miniature peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie. The peanut butter cup should be even with the top of the batter. Return the cookies to the oven and bake an additional 3 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely (about two hours) on a wire rack before removing the cookies from the pan.
     - I got impatient, so I popped the cookies out of their pans and put them on a plate in the fridge. Having learned from experience, I assumed these things would be soooo much better chilled... and I was right. I tried them right away, and not only did the cup scorch the roof of my mouth, but they just weren't as... good? Check out how ADORABLE these cookies are. Totally poppable too... like cookie popcorn!

So the cookies KIND OF worked to get my kids to try harder- I told them that if they paced themselves, and took their time on the test, I'd give them a cookie. Well, being the little manipulators they are, every time I walked past their desks, they'd pick up their pencils and start fervently working on their exams... sneaky. I wasn't tricked, but I certainly didn't need to take home an additional 24 cookies, so they "earned" their treats. Best comment of the bunch- "WOW MISS PETERS! These actually turned out pretty good. I thought you said you couldn't cook!?" Awwww, thank you... I think.
Check out what ELSE I made while baking. I am THE complete package. Ha ha haaaa. Bagel sandwich, anyone?

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