Alright…so I have been doing this for over a month, and I am shocked that I have neglected to write about 2 things that are eaten with regularity in our home: cookies and tacos. I’m not talking about Old El Paso tacos. Those are fine on very busy weeknights when your kids (or stomach) are screaming for dinner before you’ve had a chance to take off your coat. I’m talking about pork tacos with red pepper slaw, shrimp tacos with mango-avocado salsa, or braised ground beef tacos spiced to perfection. Oh the joy of taco juices sliding down your arm as you bite your way through tex-mex euphoria! But I’ve gone off on a tangent here. Because this post is not about tacos.
Today we’re talking cookies. I should warn visitors that I reside with a living, breathing cookie-monster. Cookies are not safe in this home. Boxes of cookies purchased from the store mysteriously disappear before I have a chance to eat just one. Crumbs of homemade cookies are found in containers where whole, chewy cookie magic should be. Gifted cookies seem to be missing in numbers by the time they reach their destination…I’m wondering if there is some sort of Cookies Anonymous we can send this dear husband of mine too?
I discovered these particular cookies in my Joy of Cooking book over 5 years ago. Aptly named peanut butter chubbies – for their cute petite plumpness – the cookies are bursting with peanut butter flavour. The cookies are more akin to a shortbread cookie than the classic peanut butter cookies most of us grew up with. They are crumbly and floury, and a perfect vessel for chopped-up peanut butter cups, replacing plain old boring chocolate chips. The recipe originally calls for 14 peanut butter cups. I’d like to know why the authors went for such an odd number? Don’t the peanut butter cups come in packs of 3? (except for around Hallowe’en, when we can gorge ourselves on single serving peanut butter cups – because it’s just one right?) Why didn’t the authors use 12? or better yet, 15? I suppose it’s because they actually call for 11 oz, which is what 14 cups weigh … but my bet is that it was so the baker could test one of the cups before putting the whole batch in the cookies. Smooth move.
When I was first making these cookies I would buy 5 three-packs of peanut butter cups and go through the step of unwrapping each individual cup – not a strenuous step, but a needless one. Reese makes 210g (approx. 7 oz) bags of Mini Peanut Butter Cups. I started to buy one of these and found that dumping the pack out on the chopping board was much quicker. And to be honest, I don’t miss the entire 11 oz that I used to use. After chopping up the mini cups, I still end up with just over a cup of peanut butter “chocolate chips” which I find to be a perfect ratio to the dough. The only thing that would make these peanut butter chubbies more perfect would be if someone would gift me this cookie jar to store them in.
Peanut Butter Chubbies
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker & Ethan Becker
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 1/2 tsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 210g package Reese Mini Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper (or grease with butter).
In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter, peanut butter and vanilla – mix on low speed just until the mixture starts to hold together in a crumbly dough. Add the chopped peanut butter cups and mix on low until they are incorporated into the dough.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared cookie sheet with at least 1 inch between each cookie. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until very lightly golden on top (remember, these are similar to shortbread cookies). Rotate the pan halfway through for even baking. Remove cookies from oven and place the pan on a rack to cool completely. The cookies are very crumbly, so if you move them before they are cool, they will fall apart. So patience is key.
Makes 24 cookies.