Peanut Butter to My Jam Cookies

It’s summertime and everyone’s working on their beach bods, I know, but seriously sometimes you just have to live a little! I would honestly give these cookies an 11/10 if that made any sense. My fiance’ ended up making two other batches of these the day after the first batch was gone (which was in less than an hour by the way). His barber saw the picture on Instagram and instantly called to request a cookie delivery to the shop. This recipe comes from my fave, of course, Giada, and it was listed in her top 25 recipes by fans, so if you don’t want to take my word, take theirs.

Original recipe here.

Here is what you need:

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (recommended: Hershey’s)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 packed cup light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup blackberry jam

Directions:

I didn’t have two baking sheets exactly the same size, but it was perfectly fine; these cookies are big, so I would suggest a larger one if you have so they don’t spread together when cooking. Move one of your oven racks to the center and preheat at 375 degrees.

Line your two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

In a medium bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt (I use a small strainer). This part is extremely important as it keeps the consistency smooth.

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In a stand mixer (I used my Kitchenaid), fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, peanut butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, and light brown sugar together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until blended.

With the machine running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until incorporated. *Okay, this part, make sure you do this slowly or else you will have a facial mask of flour mixture…my fiance’ did not follow my instructions one time and ended up looking like he had been through a white dust storm.

Put the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1/4 cup-size balls and roll in the sugar. These come out big, but we liked it this way. If you feel like you don’t like big cookies, feel free to make them a bit smaller.

Arrange 5 balls of dough, evenly apart, on each baking sheet. Using a round 1/4 teaspoon measure, or the thin end of a wooden spoon, make a hole in the center of each ball of dough, about 1/2 to 3/4-inch deep. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jam into each hole (we spooned about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon). Bake for 11 to 14 minutes until the dough has spread and the surface of the cookies are crackled. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Arrange the cookies on a serving dish and serve.

This cookie recipe is a definite crowd pleaser; it looks fancy on a serving dish and are perfect for both casual and more formal events. Best of all, these are super simple…my fiance’ made these himself not once, but TWICE…so boys, get your Kitchenaids out and start whipping them up 🙂

Let me know how yours comes out – tag #prettylittlepretzel with your PB&Jam cookies.

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Who Said Gourmet Was Only for Dinner?

Nowadays, most of us women work just as hard as the men in our lives; FACT.  Luckily, I work from home most of the time, but that doesn’t ease the work load one bit. I actually find myself working longer hours then when I had a 9-5 office job. I sometimes even forget to eat lunch, which isn’t something to be proud of.

Today just wasn’t one of those days.  I definitely didn’t forget about lunch.  For some reason, I was starving by 11:55am, my stomach rumbling and screaming for me to put something in it.

So, I made this scrumptious recipe, credit to Giada De Laurentiis, but I tweaked a few things. Find the original recipe HERE

Ingredients:

1/2 pound (8 ounces) pastina or other small-shaped pasta, such as farfallini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

I found these little guys in my fridge, which I was about to throw away yesterday!  Good thing I didn’t.

I chopped up 2 large carrots into 1/2 inch-ish pieces and about an inch slice of my onion since it was so large.  The recipe calls for finely chopped onion, but I was being adventurous and didn’t really have time to be precise – don’t worry, it comes out great, I promise.

The recipe calls for Farfalle or small pasta, but I didn’t have any and these are just so fun to look at.  You can use whatever you like or if you want the original, stick to Farfelle.

Sauté your onion first in olive oil in a medium non stick skillet for about 7 minutes until its soft. Then add the carrot and 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a summer for about 5 minutes. Start to boil your pasta in another large pot of salted boiling water at this point.

So your pasta is cooking, your carrots and onions are simmering in the chicken stock…now time to add 1/2 cup if frozen peas that were thawed.

Cook with the peas for two minutes to warm them through.

Your pasta is done, so add it directly into your pan with the onions, carrots and peas and stir it so pasta is coated with all of the yumminess from the pot.  Remove pan from the heat.  Don’t throw away the pasta water – trust me, you’ll want it.

My favorite part…cheese obviously!

These need to be at room temperate before you add them. I used half of the packet of cream cheese, 4 oz and half the container of Mascarpone. Mix it in with the pasta until the cheese melts and a creamy sauce forms.

And here is your finished product! Top with a bit of chopped basil and a leaf for garnish and you’re done. When I say this is amazing, I am not exaggerating – I went back for seconds. This recipe is super easy, fool proof and who said you can’t have gourmet lunches during your work lunch break?  Sure beats fast food! :)

If you have leftovers, add some of the pasta water to your container so when you heat it up next time, it’s not dry and ready for the garbage.

Let me know how yours comes out :)