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Nut-Studded PB & J Thumbprints

img_5314Moving back in time, it’s a time machine, woot woot, and this way nothing matters but the foo-oo-ood.  It’s a recipe I made in ancient times (5 years ago) and am finally providing the details for, because… thoroughness is satisfying me a lot these days.  Here is the original post, and a window into a sillier time in my life when I had six-ish room-mates to feed, and their houseguests bunking in the rafters, and some cats, and my own retinue.  Back when Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours was mah true baking bible  (it is still page-stuck & splatter-stained <3).  The Kids’ Thumbprints naturally called my name, because by any other description they are peanut butter & jelly thumbprints, which is totes my *ahem*, jam.  

img_5316So, the cookies!  Are awesome, and adaptable in that you can stuff those bellies full of whatever jelly or jam you have around.  I used natural peanut butter because that’s my favourite kind of PB and I’ve never noticed any adverse effects.  I even tend to use the natural kind at work because the flavour is more peanutty and there’s no extra sugar to account for.  (If you wanted to be very exact you could add an extra tsp of sugar to the amount called for, but it’s not necessary.) . The nuts I used are Soudani peanuts, which if you get a chance to try, are amazing.  They are, I believe, boiled first and then roasted, which gives them a deep bronzed colour and a crisp texture that’s very special.  I don’t know how widely available they are, but they’re worth checking out if you get the chance.

Nut-Studded PB & J Thumbprints

Makes about 60 cookies.

Not-really adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Kids’ Thumbprints in Baking: My Home To Yours

  • 1 ½ sticks butter / 12 tbsp / 170 g
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, natural or processed) / 133 g
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar / 100 g
  • 1/4 cup white sugar / 50 g
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted / 216 g
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 ½ cups roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted), finely chopped / 225 g
  • About 3/4 cup jam or jelly (I used blackberry; Dorie also recommends cherry, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry) / 245 g

Preheat oven to 375℉.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silicon mats.

With a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the butter, peanut butter and sugars together on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes (longer if by hand).  Add the vanilla and egg yolk and continue to beat until well blended.  On low speed, add the flour in two additions, mixing only until incorporated.

Beat the two egg whites in a small bowl until frothy.  Put the chopped nuts in another bowl.

img_5323Measuring out 1 teaspoon-ful at a time, roll the dough into little balls until you have an army of tiny cookie orbs.  Then dip each ball into the egg whites and then the peanuts to coat completely, and place them onto the cookie sheets about 2″ apart from each-other.  With your pinkie (or the end of a wooden spoon), press a little indent in the top of each nut-studded cookie, being careful not to press all the way down to the baking sheet.

Baking for 15 – 18 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cookies are lightly golden.  Transfer the cookie to racks to cool and repeat the baking process with the remaining dough.

Put the jam or jelly in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat.  With a tiny spoon, fill each little cookie belly with hot jam.  Allow to cool completely before eating.

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