Every cookie that I make for my yearly holiday basket is normally made for someone in mind. I am feeding about 20-25 people’s different tastes, so it goes to accept that every cookie that is sent out isn’t going to be everyone’s favorite, but someone will appreciate it. I try to keep tabs on which family likes what so that I can send them more of an item while lessening that item for another family that may prefer more of a different item, but everyone gets a little of everything.
My side of the family likes caramel and vanilla flavors, while my other side of the family is more into richer flavors of coffee and chocolate, my cousins family loves spicy flavors such as cinnamon and ginger, while I also also have a couple that enjoy fruity flavors. My husband’s sister really enjoys nutty flavors, especially peanut butter. This past year, I started making these peanut butter cookies that will be a perfect inclusion into the holiday basket. The creamy center of peanut butter makes it just different enough that it is elevates the cookie above the normal cross hatched peanut butter cookie, making it the perfect present. If you are allergic to peanuts, you could get creative and use a different nut butter to suit your taste. Enjoy!
Magic Middles Peanut Butter Cookies
3/4 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup All-Vegetable Shortening
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Creamy Peanut Butter Middles
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Confectioners Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
HEAT oven to 375°F. Combine crunchy peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Roll into a log shape in wax paper. Refrigerate for two hours.
In small bowl, granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
In another small bowl, stir creamy peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 24 (1-inch) balls.
Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half crosswise to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly. Shape 1 cookie dough piece around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Repeat with remaining dough and balls.
Roll each covered ball in cinnamon sugar mixture; gently pat mixture completely onto balls. On ungreased large cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Spray bottom of drinking glass with Cooking Spray; press into remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness with bottom of glass. Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on tops of cookies; gently press into dough.
Bake 7 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Store tightly covered.