I can’t believe summer is coming to an end! Here in Portland, we only got a few weeks of hot weather and I’m still wanting more! I’ll admit autumn is one of my favorite times of year, especially in the Pacific Northwest. And even though I’m no longer a student, I still like to celebrate the back-to-school season! I used to love getting brand new school supplies every September and still like to treat myself to a crisp new notebook and brand new ink pens!
When thinking of back-to-school gift and favor ideas, I knew I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes, PB & J cookies! I found the recipe years ago in a Rachael Ray magazine and have made them over and over.
PB & J Cookies
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter
• ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon strawberry jelly
• ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
• 1½ tablespoons whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, blend 3/4 cup of the peanut butter with the butter on medium speed. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat until smooth, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated. Stir in the reserved flour mixture until just combined.
Using a small (1½-inch) ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop the dough 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Using the back of a melon baller or your thumb, gently dent the center of each cookie. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of jelly into each center. Bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool.
In a small bowl, beat together the remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter and the confectioners’ sugar. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until the frosting reaches a good consistency for piping. Using a resealable sandwich bag with a tiny corner snipped off, pipe the frosting over the cookies.
When I was in grade school, my mom would pack a special treat in my lunchbox every time I had a big test or presentation. Package up these cookies with a personalized heart-shaped tag to wish your child good luck on his first math or spelling test of the year!