Peanut Butter & Jelly Jewels
1 cBleached all-purpose flour
(dip and sweep method)
1 ts Baking soda
1/8 ts Salt
1/2 cLight brown sugar (firmly
1/4 cGranulated sugar
1/2 cUnsalted butter
1 cSmooth peanut butter
1 lg Egg
1/2 ts Pure vanilla extract
Makes about 5 dozen 1 3/4-inch cookies
Equipment: Ungreased cookie sheets, 1 1/4-inch cookie scoop, or a
Place two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Soften the butter. In a small bowl, sift together he flour, baking
soda, and salt. Whisk to combine well. Set aside. In a mixing bowl,
beat the sugars until well mixed. Add the butter and peanut butter
and beat for several minutes, until very smooth and creamy. Add the
egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated, scraping the
sides of the bowl. At low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture
just until incorporated.
Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour or
overnight (This keeps the dough from cracking when shaped).
Measure the dough into a 1 1/4-inch cookie scoop or 2 level teaspoons
and roll it between the palms of your hands to shape 1-inch balls.
Place the balls 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. As soon as
you roll each ball, use your index finger or the handle of a wooden
spoon to make a depression going down almost to the cookie sheet in
the center of each ball.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and set. For even
baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back
halfway through the baking period.
Cool the cookies on the sheets for a few minutes or until firm enough
to lift. Use a small, angled metal spatula or pancake turner to
transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. If necessary,
while the cookies are still hot, use the greased handle of a wooden
spoon to deepen the depressions. Fill the centers with cherry
preserves or milk chocolate topping.
Cherry Preserves Topping: ** 1 1/2 (12-ounce) jars cherry preserves
In a microwave oven or a saucepan, heat the preserves until boiling.
Strain the jelly into a small heavy saucepan. Place the cherries
remaining in the strainer in the centers of the cookies. If some are
crushed, piece them together.
On medium heat, boil the jelly for about 5 minutes, stirring
constantly until, when it is dropped from the stirring spoon, the
last drops gather to form one large sticky drop that hangs from the
spoon. The jelly will be reduced to about 3/4 cup. Allow the jelly to
cool about 1 minutes or until the bubbling stops. Spoon heaping 1/4
to 1/2 teaspoons over each cherry.
Milk Chocolate Topping: ** 2 (3-ounce) bars milk chocolate 2
(3-ounce) bars bittersweet chocolate 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at
Break the chocolate into squares and place them in the top of a double
boiler. Set it over hot but not simmering water. The water must not
touch the bottom of the double-boiler insert. Stir until the
chocolate begins to melt. Return the pan to low heat if the water
cools, but be careful that the water does not get too hot.
Stir the chocolate until smooth, and cool it until it is no longer
warm to the touch.( The chocolate may be melted in a microwave oven
if stirred every 15 seconds. Remove it before it is fully melted and
stir, using residual heat to complete melting). Whisk in the softened
butter. The mixture will immediately thicken. Do not overwhisk. Use a
recloseable quart-size freezer bag with one corner cut off to pipe
the chocolate into the centers of the cookies or use a small metal
spatula to spread on a dollop. You can also use a copler with a # 22
star decorating tube to pipe the chocolate decoratively into the
centers. Allow the chocolate to set until firm.
Store: In an airtight container Keeps: 1 month
Tip: Using superfine sugar will result in fewer cracks in the cookies
surface. It can be prepared easily in a food processor by processing
granulated sugar for a few minutes or until it is as fine as sand.