Fruity inspirations: peanut butter and jelly

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Peanut butter cookies – with that iconic crosshatch pattern pressed into their tops – are a holiday classic for many Americans. But as good as they are, we decided to play with the tradition a bit.

Spike your classic peanut butter cookies with a "jelly" of finely chopped golden raisins.  MATTHEW MEAD/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MATTHEW MEAD/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Spike your classic peanut butter cookies with a "jelly" of finely chopped golden raisins.

We spiked our peanut butter cookies with a “jelly” of finely chopped golden raisins.

We also ditched the flour in favor of upping the peanut flavor.

The result is a slightly sweeter and delightfully chewy take on this holiday cookie. And of course we kept the crosshatch.

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY COOKIES

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Makes 3 dozen cookies

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup golden raisins

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar

15-ounce jar natural peanut butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment.

In a food processor, combine the granulated sugar and golden raisins, then pulse until chopped to small pieces, but not a puree.

In a medium bowl, beat together the brown sugar, peanut butter, eggs, vanilla and salt until thoroughly mixed. Mix in the sugar and raisins until evenly distributed.

Working in batches, scoop 1 tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between cookies.

Use a fork to make crosshatch design on the top of each cookie, slightly flattening them in the process. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Allow the baking sheet to cool between batches. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutrition information per cookie: 130 calories; 60 calories from fat
(46 percent of total calories); 6 g fat
(1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 14 g sugar; 3 g protein; 35 mg sodium.

READER RECIPE: RIBBON COOKIES

“My grandchildren ask for these cookies and I tell them they are only baked for Christmastime,” said Mary A. Scott, of Augusta, who submitted this recipe from her home state, Kentucky. “They are so easy once you realize that the chocolate chips have to be melted, and I like to add a little more cherries than called for. Slice very thin! They have been a big hit here in Augusta.”

Makes 4 ½ dozen

1 egg

1 cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup diced red candied cherries

¼ cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup diced green candied cherries

½ cup chocolate chips (melted or use mini chips)

Line bottom and sides of 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil; set aside.

Cream butter/ gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Dough will be stiff.

Divide dough into thirds that will be about 1 cup each. Add red cherries to 1/3 of the dough, and stir well. Press into prepared pan. Add mixed chocolate and pecans to 1/3 of dough and stir well. Press into pan over red cherry dough.

Add green cherries to remaining dough, stir well and press over the chocolate and pecan layer.

Cover the dough and chill dough for at least 3 hours. Invert pan and remove dough. Cut the dough in half lengthwise.Cut each section of dough crosswise in 1/8 inch slices/

Place 1 1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove to wire racks and cool.

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPES

Send us your favorite Christmas cookie recipe, and we’ll include some of your submissions during the 12 Cookies of Christmas series. Send e-mails to james.folker@augustachronicle.com; letters to 725 Broad St., Augusta, GA 30913; faxes to (706) 722-7403.


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