For as long as I can remember, my family has held an annual “Christmas Cookie Day.” The event name is pretty self explanatory…it’s a day when we all come together and bake batches and batches of cookies (about 30 batches total!).
When I was young, it used to just involve my brothers & I each inviting a friend over to bake cookies, decorate them, and then pass out heaping plates to all of our neighbors. Slowly the day has evolved into the social event of the holiday season. We set the date early so everyone can get it on their calendar, and we even have far away family members fly in for this special day. It’s quite possibly my favorite day of the year, and it’s a tradition I hope to continue with my own children.
On Cookie Day, we bake nine kinds of cookies…but these peanut butter ones are by far a crowd favorite.
Chocolate, peanut butter, frosting, and sugar all wrapped into one bite-sized morsel. Yeah, it doesn’t get much better than this. We decorate the peanut butter ones to look like little holiday baskets. Do you see it? The red flowers in the chocolate basket, and the green handle! The red & green frosting definitely adds some Christmas cheer to these bad boys.
This cookie recipe is great if you have some helpers in the kitchen. There are plenty of jobs to divvy up, and working together makes it go by much faster.You can have someone unwrapping the small Reese’s peanut butter cups and cutting them in half. While another helper works on mixing up the dough.
Then rolling the balls of dough is fun if you just want to sit back and chat while working away. You form little balls, roll it in sugar, and plop it right on a baking sheet. After they bake you gently push the chocolate into the bottom of the cookie to form the basket base.
Then it’s time to decorate with red and green frosting. Bridget is amazing at this step and she usually gets put on frosting duty. When I do it, it turns into a big colorful mess of goop on the cookie. Which is delicious…but not very beautiful. So I try to stay far away from this step in the cookie making process.
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp. milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 2/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup sugar (for dough rolling step)
- 60 bite-size Reese’s, halved
- red & green frosting
In a large mixing bowl beat first 4 ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda; add to egg mixture beating well.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in the 1/2 cup sugar; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets (we like to use parchment paper!) Bake in 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Let cool for a couple minutes and then press half of a peanut butter cup, cut side down, into each cookie, about 1/2 inch from bottom edges (cookies will crack a little…that’s okay!) Cool.
Decorate with frosting to look like baskets!
Now I’m craving cookies at 7 am. Today just might be a cookies for breakfast kinda day.Casey