Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Peanut Butter Bites: Not Just a Christmas Cookie

Peanut Butter Bites

Every year I experiment with at least one new holiday baking recipe and I didn't get around to this one until December 24th.  But for goodness sakes-- I am so glad I did.  These peanut butter bites are not your typical peanut butter cookies; they have half a mini Reese's peanut butter cup hidden inside. The result is a creamy puffy ball of wonder. Forget visions of sugarplums! 

The recipe was ho-ho easy to follow and prepare and I will absolutely bake these cookies again-- and not just at Christmas time. 

I found the recipe in a free booklet at my Publix, grocery store, saved from Holiday 2009. However, a Google search reveals  Better Homes and Gardens claims recipe ownership. 

Creamy Peanut Butter Bites
Makes about 40 cookies

Ingredients
•    3/4  cup  butter, softened
•    1/2  cup  creamy peanut butter
•    1  cup  sugar
•    1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
•    1/8  teaspoon  salt
•    1    egg
•    1  teaspoon  vanilla
•    2  cups  all-purpose flour
•    20  miniature chocolate-covered peanut butter cups, halved
•        Unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine butter and peanut butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. If necessary, cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.

2. Shape dough into 1-1/2-inch balls. Press a peanut butter cup half into each ball and shape dough around peanut butter cup to enclose. Place cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. If desired, sprinkle cookies with cocoa powder. Makes about 40 cookies.

To Store: Place cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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The bad news: Each cookie is about 110 calories with 6 grams of fat. But indulge, they are yummy.

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