I made these thick, soft, crumbly peanut butter and jelly cookies a few days ago and can’t get them off my mind.
The recipe is from Quick-Shop-&-Prep 5 Ingredient Baking: Cookies, Cakes, Bars & More that are Easier than Ever to Make, from Jennifer McHenry of Bake of Break.
I’ll tell you more about the cookies in a second, but first here’s a little more info on the book. It is not a cookbook with 5 ingredient recipes, but rather a collection of recipes that have up to five ingredients in addition to the basic kitchen staples of flour, butter, eggs, sugar, leavening agents and salt. It’s geared towards scratch bakers who want to streamline their pantry so they can make a wide variety of baked goods with only a few extra things from the store. For example, in this peanut butter cookie you have flour, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla (pantry staples) leaving you with just two ingredients to buy — peanut butter and preserves. So Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies would be in the “+2 Ingredients” chapter.
Other recipes in the “+2 Ingredients” chapter include Toffee Pear Crostata where all you buy are toffee chips and pears, Lemon Ginger Scones, where you’ll need to buy a lemon and some buttermilk, and Cream Cheese-Filled Chocolate Chip Blondies, which appear to have a long ingredient list but in reality only require two additional ingredients — mini chocolate chips and cream cheese. In chapters that follow, you’ll get recipes where you add 3, then 4, then 5 new ingredients to your well-stocked pantry. The overall concept is interesting and I think both novice bakers will find it useful, but where it really shines is with the recipes themselves. They are streamlined with easy-to-follow-directions, include grams for accurate measures (hooray!) and cover a wide array of flavors and items.
Even with all the cakes, pies and scones in the book, I naturally gravitated towards cookies, and Jennifer’s peanut butter and jelly cookies came through. The ratios she uses are interesting. The recipe calls for brown sugar (no granulated) and a pretty hefty amount of peanut butter to make a soft, not-too-sweet cookie that marries so well with the preserves. I tried the cookies with chocolate chips instead of preserves and they were good, but not as over-the-top good as they were with the preserves, which soften the cookies and change the texture. Not being a peanut butter and jelly fan, I was surprised at how much I loved these and can only imagine who happy they’ll make true peanut butter and jelly lovers.
- I 1/2 cups (180 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (255 grams) creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup (200 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) strawberry preserves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (180 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
- Using about 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls. Flatten each ball into a disk. Place about ½ teaspoon of preserves in the center of the disk. Fold the edges of the disk around the preserves. Roll into a ball.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 15 to 15 minutes or until the cookies arelightly browned. Allow to cool on the pans for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.