Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

The combination of peanut butter and chocolate really can’t be beat. I mean there are other delicious food combinations (hello, grilled cheese and tomato soup, cheese and wine, and bacon and…anything.) But nothing is quite as perfect together as peanut butter and chocolate. There are thousands of delicious recipes involving this dynamic duo and I decided to try one this weekend. I have always loved the peanut butter cookie with a chocolate kiss, but this recipe (found on Cup of Sugar, Pinch of Salt) takes that to another level by replacing the kiss with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. The genius part is making the cookies in mini-muffin pans instead of on a sheet. That way, the cookies are tall enough to handle a mini Reese’s Cup. So smart, and tasty!

1 package Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures (you’ll need about 40)
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Start by putting your Reese’s Cups in the freezer. Trust me, they will be much easier to handle this way when you are pushing them into hot cookies later. Preheat the oven to 375 and spray your mini muffin cups with cooking spray. In a medium bowl mix together butter, sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until it gets all light and fluffy (just a couple minutes). Then stir together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl before adding it to the peanut butter mixture. Beat until it’s blended. The dough will seem a tad dry, but don’t worry. This helps you form the cookie balls. 

Roll them into 1-inch balls and place one in each of the mini muffin cups. I found that smaller balls were harder to push the cups into, so make sure they are at least an inch. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes (ten worked for me) until the balls have puffed up and are lightly browned. While they are baking, remove the wrappers from the Reese’s cups (trust me, don’t wait). You have to move fast, so when you pull the muffin tin out, immediately push Reese’s cups into each of the cookie tops. Don’t be afraid to push them firmly, and in fact, I had to go back through and give them each a second push. Let them cool for about five minutes in the tin before gently removing them from the pan and letting them cool. The Reese’s cup will get somewhat molten inside the cookie, so keep them upright and let them cool for a few hours. 

Contrary to most cookies, I would avoid eating them warm and wait until the cup has set up. There is something overwhelming about it when the chocolate is all melty. I think because the center of the cup stays together so it just becomes a kind of weird chunk. Anyway, I have a feeling you won’t heed my warning so you’ll find out for yourself!