Thursday, 7 June 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies


I think the first time I ever heard the words "peanut butter and jelly sandwich" was on Sesame Street (it might have even been Ernie who uttered them). I was baffled by the idea of someone making a sandwich out of those two items. I imagined someone had spread peanut butter on one slice of bread (okay, so far), but then plopped what I know as jelly (the stuff that "wobbles on a plate") on the other and put them together to make a very odd sandwich. It took me years to get that image out of my head. You see, where I come from, jelly is made from sweet crystals and water, it sets up in the refrigerator 'til it wobbles, and you eat it with cream or ice cream. I now understand that what Americans call jelly, is a preserve made from only the juice of fruit and is basically jam, only without the seeds, skin and pulp. This makes much more sense in the context of a sandwich (well, to me anyway). To confuse the issue, what Americans call Jell-O is what we Australians call jelly!

Anyhooooo, even though I've used jam here, I've called these Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies, because Peanut Butter and Jam Thumbprint Cookies just doesn't have the same ring to it, even to Aussie ears.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 36

1 & 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
115g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 3 tablespoons of your favorite jam

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease or line baking sheets.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

Using an electric  mixer, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter and mix just until blended. Mix in egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until blended. Be sure not to overmix.

Scoop out walnut-sized balls of dough onto prepared pans.  Use the back of a spoon to press a deep indentation into the center of each cookie.  Fill indentation with jam.  Bake cookies, one pan at a time, 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned. (You may need to refrigerate remainder of dough until ready to bake.)

Cool on pan on wire rack for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

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