Margaret’s Peanut Butter-Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 15th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Friend inspires new cookie and memories…
I often wonder why certain people seem to come into lives at certain times and what it all means in the long run. If you think about your life, and the people you have in it, did each person, each friend, come into your life at what seemed to be just the right time? In my experiences, most of the time, yes! Take for instance my close friend Margaret Fowler. It was about three years ago that I first got to know Margaret and it all happened by accident. My Grandma Barbra was going through some health struggles and seemingly out of nowhere I kept running into a tall, lean, wise woman who often smiled at me. As time went on, and we kept running into each other, we started chatting, talking and becoming more familiar with one another. Soon we had developed a friendship and I was bringing her baked goods and she was telling me about her life many years ago on a farm. Her friendship came just at the right time for me. She was positive my Grandma Barbra would be ok and she helped steer my mind more towards the positive sides in life. A few months later our run-ins stopped and Grandma Barbra was on her way towards being on the mend and living independently. I told Margaret I would see her again soon and we parted ways. It was a bittersweet moment but I think both of us knew that somehow we would see each other again, somewhere, sometime.
Cut to just a few months later and guess what? We were reunited when my Grandma Deloris started undergoing some health issues. She remembered me and she knew I remembered her and our friendship picked right back up from where it had left off. Now we see quite a bit of each other and just about every time I see her I am greeted with a hug. She smiles from ear to ear and I just love to hear her laugh when we talk about her life on the farm and my dislike for just about everything that takes place out of doors. We are both very different but also very similar in many ways. We both have a love for family, friends, good times and good food! Margaret loves fried chicken and loves lollipop suckers. We also have the same sense of humor. Sometimes something will happen and I will look at her, and her at me and we will laugh and laugh. Sometimes it is the little things in life. When I first made these cookies, Margaret went wild for them! I knew immediately that when the recipe was ready, I would dedicate them to her. Thank you, Margaret, for being such a dear friend to me and thank you to Margaret’s family who have welcomed me and my family into your lives with nothing but love and affection. We love you all so much. Thank you.
Margaret’s Peanut Butter Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies
These cookies can also be rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mixture for a slightly more delicate crunch and added flavor. These cookies are best made the day you plan to serve them and are not the best at holding up to being made in advance. This “stuffing” method can also be used to create peanut butter stuffed chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter stuffed snickerdoodles or even peanut butter stuffed sugar cookies. Experiment and have fun!
For the filling…
1 cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
For the cookies…
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, soft
½ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup white granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
Start by combining the smooth peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar to make the cookie filling. In a large bowl combine the two ingredients until smooth. Scoop into small balls and place onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and place into the freezer to chill.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Make the cookies by combining the soft butter with the smooth peanut butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Beat until the mixture is smooth in texture and light in color.
Beat in the large egg and pure vanilla extract.
Add the white all-purpose flour, baking soda and pinch of salt all at once and stir until the dough is just combined being careful not to overmix.
Working rather quickly, take tablespoon size amounts of the dough and flatten out with the palms of your hands. Place a frozen peanut butter filling ball into the middle and close up the dough, being sure to pinch around the edges ensuring the filling stays hidden inside.
Roll the cookie balls into white granulated sugar before placing them onto the prepared baking sheets. Space the cookies about 3 inches apart to allow room for proper baking.
Bake these, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for exactly 14 minutes. Remove the cookies and allow them to cool on their baking sheets to warm room temperature before enjoying.
Ask and Answer: I have received a few messages about the saltine cracker candy that I have a recipe for in my cookbook. A few people have experienced extra “juice” – the cooked brown sugar and butter part of the recipe – that seems to have the crackers floating on their baking sheets after removing from the oven. This is perfectly normal. If the crackers become too much of a floating issue I would recommend switching to a smaller baking sheet, therefore not giving the crackers much room to float. Also, when melting the chocolate chips in the final step, be aware that the chocolate will not cover the entire sheet of candy. If you are having trouble with the chocolate chips melting simply tent the baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil for a few minutes, or pop back into the oven for a couple of minutes and then remove and spread gently.