Earlier this week, the people at my office celebrated Peanut Butter-and-Jelly Sandwich Day. That’s right. You heard me.

While others were planning to bring in their favorite peanut butter spread and jelly combos, I decided to bring cookies. However, I was never really a fan of the traditional peanut butter cookie, which always seemed a bit oily to the touch.

So I searched the web for an alternative recipe. I knew a good place to start would be at the food blog Edible Snapshots. This girl, Row, loves to bake (and eat) and I remembered that she had a marathon cookie-testing session during the holidays late last year.

Sure enough, when going through her past posts, I found mentions of a Bouchon peanut butter sandwich and another cookie called the Peanut Butter Blossom. The Bouchon cookie sounded like a lot more work, so I decided to make the Peanut Butter Blossoms, which were basically a peanut butter-based cookie with a Hershey’s Kiss plopped right in the middle.

Peanut butter blossoms created by pushing a whole Hershey Kiss into the cookie

The recipe is from the archives of the New York Times, and I’ve provided the link here. It’s a really simple recipe that you can do in parts. For example, I mixed the batter early Sunday before I went to check out the new exhibit at the deYoung Museum. The recipe says refrigeration would make it easier to handle the dough, but really it was very pliable and I could have baked them right there but I had to head out the door.

When I returned home, I started slicing them up and baking. What’s nice about dividing the dough (I made five rolls like the recipe suggested) and then refrigerating them is that you can cook as many cookies as you want. Each roll would make about a dozen cookies.

The recipe calls for the cookie to be rolled in sugar before baking. Because I had a whole jar of vanilla sugar that I haven’t used for awhile, I decided to use that, which I think made the cookie less sweet than regular sugar.

The tedious job of unwrapping each Hershey Kiss

I made the traditional Peanut Butter Blossoms with the Hershey Kiss, but to fit in with the theme of the day, I also made half of the batch substituting the chocolate with a scoop of jam. (I used a blackberry jam I had in the frig.)

I followed the same steps as I did for the chocolate, but instead of inserting the Kiss, I just created a hole and carefully spooned in a bit of the jam.

The cookies were a hit at work, and surprisingly more people liked my improvised jam version instead of the chocolate. (I think the whole Hershey Kiss might have been too much sugar for some.)

Like any cookie, I found that the cookies tasted way better hot out of the oven. Something about the warm chocolate Kiss that gets a bit melted and gooey, blending with the peanut butter flavor that works so well. And of course the jam is a winner when you don’t want a super sweet cookie.

Next time you’re craving a PB&J sandwich, go for this cookie instead.

1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of light brown sugar before they're creamed.

You know how peanut butter can get stuck on the roof of your mouth? It got my hand mixer stuck near the end trying to blend everything.

I divided the dough into five rolls and then wrapped them in wax paper and popped them into the refrigerator until I was ready to bake them.

The dough is broken into 1-inch balls and then rolled in vanilla sugar before baking

I used a glass wine cap to create a well in the cookie and then filled it with blackberry jam


10 Responses to Celebrating PB&J Day with Cookies

  1. Sandy says:

    Sure looks tasty! I love thumbprint cookies!

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    Did you save some for me? LOL

  3. hungry dog says:

    The single guy bakes! Who knew? 😉 These PB&J cookies sound both fun and delicious. Also, cute!

    • Ben Ben says:

      I know riiiight? 😉 I actually bake more often than I let on. It’s just you don’t see it because most times they go straight to the waste basket. These turned out great, so thus the post.

  4. Sue says:

    They were definitely a hit with me and the rest of your coworkers! They looked beautiful and tasted great. Thanks for bringing them in!

  5. Row says:

    Thanks for the shout-out, Ben! I like that you rolled the dough in vanilla sugar…nice touch. I went on a cookie-baking hiatus after the marathon, but after seeing those yummy jam cookies, I think I’m going to have to make a batch. 🙂

    • Ben Ben says:

      I wouldn’t have found the recipe without you! Hmm, a cookie-baking hiatus? I doubt it lasted very long! Hehe

  6. Jenny says:

    Ben, my kids and I usually make Peanut Butter Blossoms for part of our holiday gift baking and they always seem to be the favorite of our recipients. Our recipe is a lot more simplified, with just natural peanut butter, eggs and sugar. (And Hershey’s Kisses, of course.) The last few years I’ve developed more of a liking for peanut butter cookies that contain fewer ingredients – more peanut butter flavor, less starchy, less oily. Of course, I would still never turn down a delicious traditioinal peanut butter cookie!