One more note before the recipe: I used Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter and Honey. I used to buy Jif Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. However, in an effort to reduce the family's intake of corn syrup, I switched to Smuckers Natural Creamy Peanut Butter and then Simply Jif. Smuckers is nutritionally superior being, almost exclusively, just peanuts. It was great on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but I was missing my apples smeared with peanut butter (ahem...sweet peanut butter), so my husband mentioned he saw that Jif made a variety with honey. The next time I went to the grocery store I saw it and grabbed it. The hint of sweet was enough for me, and the last 3 tubs of peanut butter have been of the honey sweetened variety. Alas...I might have to transition again. Jif (interestingly, owned by Smuckers) has a great, creamy consistency that is desired for these cookies. I think the sweeter peanut butter is desirable for these cookies as well. However, before specifically recommending the honey sweetened peanut butter, I wanted to compare ingredient lists. I was surprised to find that I had been duped by clever labeling, and I probably need to change up my peanut butters again. Here is what I found:
Smuckers Natural P.B.: peanuts + 1% or less salt
Jif Simply P.B.: peanuts + 2% or less fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono & diglycerides, molasses, sugar, salt
Jif Natural P.B. w/honey: peanuts, sugar, palm oil + 2% or less salt, molasses, honey
Regular Jif: peanuts and sugar + 2% or less molasses,fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono and diglycerides, salt
Not only was I basically purchasing regular Jif, I had now added an additional sweetener, honey on top of the sugar already in it - oops! All that being said, I still managed to steer clear of corn syrup, but I can still improve our peanut butter choice. Smuckers Natural also has a honey option; it has added sugar as well but is still sans oil and diglyercides.
Why the discourse on peanut butter? It is an important element of this recipe. I recommend you use your favorite sweetened peanut butter. A pure peanut butter, made just of crushed peanuts would probably be a little too bitter. The next time I make these I will try the Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter with honey. For everyday consumption, unsweetened peanut butter is a healthy option, but this is a cookie - splurge a little!
Also, use creamy peanut butter, especially for the filling peanut butter balls. The unique aspect of these cookies is the creamy center within the baked, crunchier outside. Creamy peanut butter for the cookie dough will allow you to enclose the little peanut butter ball easily, avoiding the peanut chunks from breaking the dough or poking into the center cream.
Without Further Ado...
Yields: 25 cookies
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until combined. In a separate, small bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredient mixture to peanut butter mixture, stirring until just combined. Shape dough into 25 balls.
In another small bowl, mix peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 25 balls.
I am working on making my recipes easy to print. Click on the following link to see the recipe in printable form without all of the pictures. It will take me awhile to go back and create links for previous recipes, but hopefully for all future recipes the link will included.
Double Decadence Peanut Butter Cookies (printable recipe)