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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Yields 28 cookies     adjust servings

Probably the only thing better than a big fat PB&J on white bread are these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies! A soft, tender cookie recipe with TONS of peanut butter flavor is baked with a dollop of jam on top. The jam melts a little bit into the cookie, creating the perfect peanut butter and jelly mash situation. These cookies are easy to make, don't have to chill, and can be done in 30 minutes flat! 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup seedless jam
  • more jam, to top baked cookies
  • melted peanut butter, to garnish
  • chopped peanuts, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter until it is smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar. Beat well until fluffy, scraping the sides. There should be no chunks of butter.
  4. Add 1 cup peanut butter. I like Jif best. You can use crunchy peanut butter if you like! Beat well until combined.
  5. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until combined.
  6. Add 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, but don't stir it in yet. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt on top of the flour. Stir it in with your teaspoon to combine the dry ingredients together a bit.
  7. Turn the mixer on to combine the dry ingredients into the dough. Don't overdo it! Once the dough barely starts to come together (with some flour still visible), stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue mixing until you no longer see flour streaks, then turn off the mixer. Over mixing cookie dough results in tough cookies.
  8. Shape the dough into 1 and 1/2 inch balls. I used this cookie scoop.
  9. Place each cookie on a baking sheet with about a couple inches of space in between. I added 12 cookies to an 11x17 inch pan. The cookies will spread a bit more than your average smash-and-bake pb cookie (because of the jam), so plan ahead.
  10. Dip a fork into a bit of sugar or flour (to make sure it doesn't stick too much to the dough) and press into the top of a cookie. Turn the fork perpendicular and press one more time. Smash them to about 1/2 inch thickness. Dip in sugar whenever the fork starts to stick to the dough.
  11. Add 1/2 cup seedless jam to a bowl and stir well to get out most of the lumps. Use a teaspoon to carefully add 1 teaspoon (or less) of jam to the top of each cookie. Do not let the jam slide off the edge, you want it right in the center. If it touches the pan it will spread and get gummy. It's not the end of the world, but try your best to keep it on top. 
  12. Bake the cookies at 350 for about 13-15 minutes.
  13. The cookies are done baking when the edges are set. You want to see a very slight browning just on the very edges. These cookies are delicate and covered in moist jam, so under baking is not advised. This might be the only cookie I ever tell you you shouldn't under bake!
  14. Let the cookies set on the pan for at least 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you know what's good for you, eat at least one of these warm, with a tall glass of milk!
  15. If presentation is important, add a little more stirred jam on top of the cookies to make them look pretty. You can also drizzle with melted peanut butter and chopped peanuts.
  16. This recipe makes about 28 cookies. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.
  17. The dough freezes very well. Since these cookies need to be flattened before baking, I like to shape the dough, press with a fork, then transfer to a ziplock to freeze. That way you can just put them on the baking sheet frozen, add the jam and bake immediately. No need to thaw, just add 1-3 minutes to the bake time. You can also add the jam before freezing and flash freeze on a baking sheet before transferring to a ziplock. 

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