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Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies



Hello Friends,
I baked again.
3 or 4 years ago I started making these and ever since I’ve given this recipe to so many people, everybody seems to really love these cookies. They have a great shelf life too..that is if you don’t eat them all in one week.
I always make 2 batches,  usually yielding 70 cookies. You can fill 35
cookies and rest you  can freeze unfilled and then fill them later when
you are ready to use them.
Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies (for 70 cookies, recipe can be doubled)
Cookie Base
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 285 gr)
2 tsp baking soda (10 gr)
1/4 tsp salt
1c light brown sugar (firmly packed) (220gr)
1/2c granulated sugar (100gr)
1c unsalted butter (226gr)
2 cups smooth peanut butter (535 gr)
2  eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
about 3 Jars (12oz,500grams) Cherry Preserves, strained, using the cherry pieces or whole cherries  for the filling
if you don’t like cherries, you can also use Nutella, I’ve used it before and they were really delicious.
Dark Chocolate  about 12oz – 340gr
Milk Chocolate 12oz – 340 gr
Butter or Crisco – about 1/2 cup, or 113 grams
I’ve been using chocolate chips with no problems
Add caption
In a bowl of your mixer, using a paddle attachment  mix together sugars  until well combined – 4 minutes, add room temperature butter , beat until incorporated, add all the peanut butter, beat until smooth.
Add the eggs, scrape the bowl in the beating process, add vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl sift together, flour, salt and baking soda, combine using a whisk, you want to make sure baking soda is well distributed in the flour.
On low speed add flour in additions to your peanut butter mixture, mix just until incorporated.
Scrape the dough into a plastic container or another smaller bowl, seal and refrigerate overnight. If in a hurry place the dough to chill into the freezer, until firm and not sticky.
Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take your cookie dough out of the fridge, or freezer.
You want the cookie dough to be cold, it is easier to handle when it is cold, when it gets warm it will become sticky.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop out approximately 10-12 cookies per large baking sheet. Drop them onto the baking sheet. Make sure you space them out as they will spread during baking. Once you have the scoops, now make the small balls out of the dough, rolling the scoops between your hands(shown in a picture above)
Next step is to make holes in the balls, for this I use wooden spoon handle, it works great, just spray it with some Pam spray, or oil it a little so it doesn’t stick.(shown in the picture above)
Bake cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes, rotate pans in the half time.
Remove cookies from the oven, let cool slightly on the baking sheet, remove and cool completely.
At this time, you can either freeze the cookies for later use or you can fill them and enjoy them right away.
Using Cherry Preserves – what i like to do is to heat the preserves a little so it is easier to strain the liquid reserving the cherries only. Place contents of the cherry jar into a bowl and using your microwave heat for 15 seconds or so, depending on how thick the  cherry preserves is. Once heated, strain, reserving the cherries.
You may have whole cherries or broken up pieces. Place them on the top of your baked cookies, where you see a little “pot hole” in the middle of the cookie.
Using Nutella – using a spoon drop about 1tsp of nutella on each baked cookie
Using a double boiler, or if you don’t have a double boiler. Place all the chocolate( chopped up) with cut up butter or crisco, into a heatproof glass or stainless steel bowl. Place it on the top of the pan with simmering water( about an inch(2.5cm) of water), water can not touch the bowl with chocolate. We are going to use the steam to melt the chocolate. Using this method prevents the chocolate to burn*.
Make sure you watch your chocolate, stir with wooden spoon.
*Burned chocolate is good for one thing only…trash.
* Avoid using damp utensils or bowls when working with chocolate any trace of water will ruin your chocolate
Once melted, let cool a little till the chocolate is “lava” consistency, you don’t want it to bee too runny nor too thick.
Using 1tsp measure gently smooth out melted chocolate on the top of the cherries, that you just placed on the baked peanut butter cookies.Let cool completely or place in the fridge for the chocolate to harden.
Store in the airtight container, layered between pieces of wax paper.
Filled cookies will be good for about 3-4 weeks.

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