peanut butter and jam heart cookies

Posted on December 11, 2011. Filed under: Dessert | Tags: , , , , , , |


Tis the season for holiday baking! I made these cookies a while ago but they are perfect if you are looking for a tasty cookie for Santa, a cookie exchange or just because you aren’t getting enough sugar and butter in your diet.  Of course, they are from Martha and her hearts come out WAY better than mine do.  There’s also a minor risk of finger burns because you need to press the heart into the dough before and after baking.  Pressing your fingers into scalding hot dough is definitely not awesome.  You can use the tip of a wooden spoon but that didn’t work well for me.

peanut butter and jam heart cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup raspberry jam, stirred to loosen (you may need more)

Most importantly…make sure your eggs are properly secured if you are photographing ingredients.  Eggs occasionally have a mind of their own and things happen.  But there’s no use crying over cracked eggs.

Whoops.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  In a separate, medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Due to an incident involving my electric hand mixer and some frosting, my mixer died (that’s the second one this year), so this recipe truly was hand mixed.  Since I’m fairly certain cookies were made before electric mixers existed, I figured I could make it through this without too much issue.  Beat the egg and sugar until they are mixed well, light and fluffy.  Next, add the peanut butter and then the egg and mix each in at a medium speed.  Switch the mixer to low-speed and slowly add the flour mixture into the butter/sugar/peanut butter/egg.  Mix until a dough forms.  Martha suggests refrigerating the dough for 5-10 minutes if it is too sticky but I’ve made these cookies twice and haven’t ever found my dough to be too sticky.

Once you’ve got your dough, scoop it into balls of about 2 tablespoons of dough each.  I use a mini ice cream scoop for consistency with cookies like this.  Very handy if you bake regularly!  I may not make mine as big as Martha but I was happy with the size cookie the scoop produced.  Place the rolled dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment (or a sil pat) and gently press the dough into 1 3/4 inch rounds.

Press hearts into the dough with your finger tips.  If you don’t want hearts, you can always do a simple thumb print.  Martha again advises you to refrigerate your dough at this point for 20 minutes.  I skipped this because it was already late and I didn’t want to add an extra hour to my baking time with all that fridge time.  Use your judgement!

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes.  Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and re-press the hearts into the cookies with your fingers or a wooden spoon. The original hearts will be very faint but do your best to follow the original shape.  (see below for what they look like after the 12 minutes of baking, before and after you re-press the hearts)

Fill the indentation with a generous 1/2 teaspoon of jam and use the spoon to shape the jam into the heart shape.

Pop the cookies back into the oven for a few more minutes, until they are firm (Martha recommends 6-7 but keep an eye on them, depending on how hot your oven is).

Cool and enjoy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a cookie form!  What could be better?
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