Did you grow up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in your school lunches?
I was more of a plain peanut butter sandwich girl myself. Actually, I didn’t really like jelly until about high school. I think it was the texture and the typical grape and strawberry flavors that turned me off to the sweet addition. Now I love the classic combination, but I much prefer jam or preserves over jelly. Including parts of the fruit just makes it seem a little more natural than just the plain jiggly spread.
This weekend I went on a picnic with some friends and wanted to include the pb&j combo without the school lunch sandwich. Since I am pretty much a cookie fanatic and I already had my favorite preserves on hand from another baking adventure, I took it as a sign that raspberry pb&j cookies must be the answer.
Raspberry preserves are the more sophisticated, more mature cousin of regular strawberry jelly. They transform the classic combination to a more upscale duo, while keeping the nostalgia warranted by any pb&j.
Cookies are also the perfect picnic dessert. They are individual, hand-held and not too messy. Everyone can have their own without having to cut off a slice with a flimsy plastic knife or trying to balance a paper plate on their lap while their dessert teeter-totters under their fork. You know what I’m talking about.
And really, when are cookies ever a bad idea? Never.
These are soft, chewy and a bit gooey where the cookie meets the preserves. Unlike the typical thumbprint cookies that just have jelly spooned on top, these have preserves marbleized throughout them. The perfect nostalgia snack. While I used raspberry preserves, your favorite jam or jelly would work just as well (I think blackberry or fig would be great). Now let’s dig in to the tasty throwback!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
makes about 18 cookies
½ cup butter
½ cup creamy peanut butter (not natural, the oil will separate and change the consistency of the dough)
2/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
your favorite jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Mix in the flour, baking soda and salt until just until the dry ingredients are incorporated and the dough forms.
Place small balls of dough on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Gently press a thumbprint into the dough balls and spoon a small amount of jam in the indention. Crumble additional dough on top of the cookies, completely covering the jam. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are golden brown.
(Usually I take cookies out of the oven before the tops are brown, since they keep cooking on the tray. These cookies fall apart easily if they are undercooked and are just as soft when they are fully cooked, so be sure to leave them in until the tops turn golden.)
Cookies loosely adapted from here.