Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprints

There are some days when you know exactly what you’re doing… and there are some days when you have no clue. Today was one of those clueless days. I always saw caramel and thought it looked pretty simple to make, you just boil sugar, water, corn syrup and voila!

Little did I know that caramel is pretty complex to make if you’ve never made it before. So my first time was pretty unsuccessful… and so was the second. After that I decided to call it quits for the day and try it again some other time. I was so close to getting it right the second time, it looked and tasted like caramel but it was still very thin and didn’t turn sticky like it should have. I realized that I took it off of the heat a little too soon!

You’re probably wondering why I am even talking about caramel, and that’s because this recipe actually calls for caramel inside the thumbprints. Because the caramel didn’t work out for me (and I was way to frustrated to keep trying) I decided to add my own personal touch and substitute raspberry preserves instead. Tastes like peanut butter and jelly cookies!! And they are deeelish!

This recipe is super simple to make (esp. when the caramel is out of the picture!) and can satisfy any palette!

To get started, pre heat your oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

With an electric mixer (if unavailable mix by hand) beat together the brown and granulated sugar and butter until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract. If you are using an electric mixer, take a spoon and scrape down the sides to evenly mix the dough. Add the peanut butter. Mix until well blended and smooth.

Next in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, and salt. In small batches, add the flour mixture to the batter. You don’t want to add it all at one time. After all of the flour is mixed in, make sure you mix the dough well and that there are no patchy flour spots remaining.

Scoop about a tablespoon sized amount of dough and roll them into balls with your hands, like you would meatballs. You will want to knead the dough with your hand a few times, I did this by simply taking the dough in my hand and squeezing it and turning it and squeezing it again, then rolling it into a ball shape. This will prevent the dough from cracking easily and make it much easier to form. You should place them about 1- 1 1/2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheets.

Use your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon and make an indentation into the middle of the cookie balls. If the dough cracks, simply mold it back together as best as you can. Place in the oven for 13-16 minutes, turning the baking sheet around to bake evenly. When they are done they should be a golden brown color. Once out of the oven, lightly push down in the middle again to reinforce the indentations. Let cool for about 5 minutes and set on a wire rack.

Once the cookies are cooled completely take a spoon and place just enough raspberry preserves to fill in the thumbprints. It’s important that you wait until the cookie is all the way cooled, to prevent the preserves from melting and spilling off of the cookies.

Next, you can either use semi-sweet chocolate or milk chocolate (I used milk chocolate, and Ghirardelli of course!) And melt the chocolates in the microwave or by using a double boiler. Place a few spoon fulls of chocolate into a plastic baggy and snip a very small whole in the corner of the bag. Gently pipe the chocolate making lines horizontally and vertically. Or whichever crazy way your hart desires!

 What you’ll need:
8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (120g) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (200g) creamy salted peanut butter (see Note)
1 3/4 cups (250g) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


Raspberry Preserves

Milk Chocolate Chips (Or semi-sweet) 

Peanut Butter Thumbprints Adapted from David Lebovitz.

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