Monday, April 18, 2016

Snickers-Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

Do you like to be on your own? I don't think "alone" has a nice connotation, generally, but I love having time to be by myself. My mom tells me that I've always been pretty happy with my own company. And the P is the same. We're both the kind of people who are content to go to a movie alone. A shocking number of people find this idea appalling, but why? I don't get why this is such a strange thing -- it's not like you get to chat much with your companion at the movies when you go together. And when you go by yourself no one else can hog the popcorn. You can do all the hogging.

Obviously, my choice to stay home with my children full-time results in finding myself with very little time when I am truly alone. I've forgotten the kinds of things I would do when I was under no obligation to be with anyone else. So lately I've been making a list of things to do when I again find myself with alone time (or consciously carve it out, as I'm making more of an effort to do). What would be on your list?

High on my list is time alone in the kitchen to just do my thing.
I started motherhood with the notion that I would love cooking with my kids and give them every opportunity to join me in making yummy things in the kitchen. 

Do you hear that laughter? That's me laughing maniacally at the crazy notion of cooking side-by-side with my children, as I shoo crying little ones out of "my kitchen" every night at 5 o'clock. Look, it's not my idea of a good time to cook with people attached to my appendages. 
That's more my idea of a gymnastics event. 
Or Iron Man competition. 
Or Crazytown.

Oh look! Cookies! We should talk about these cookies for a minute, because they are flipping awesome-sauce-amazing. If you like peanut butter cookies and you like Snickers, I think the very idea of these cookies is reason alone to make them. You owe it to yourself to shove candy bars into cookie dough and see what happens. And if you don't love Snickers, you can make these with equal success using mini Milky Way bars. Both will rock your socks right off!
The oven temperature is not a typo. Bake them at 300ยบ. This will let the candy melt all the way through as the cookie bakes and sets. They'll look a little pale and puffy, but that's just what you want. They look great with a drizzle of chocolate on top to hint at the surprise inside.

Snickers-Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe Source: Foodie with Family

1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. creamy peanut butter (I use the natural stuff)
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. (17.5 oz.) flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
about 30 miniature Snickers bars (NOT "fun size")
1/2 c. melting chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)

Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs in, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add the peanut butter and vanilla until, beating until smooth and creamy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture and beat until well combined. Be sure to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all the dry mixture has been incorporated. (I almost always have some that hides on the bottom of the mixer.)
Cover and let chill for 2 to 3 hours. Meanwhile, unwrap the snickers bars. (Try to control yourself and save them for stuffing into the cookies. Your patience will be rewarded!)
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 300°F.
Scoop the dough into generous 1 Tbsp. balls. Flatten the ball, and put a mini Snickers into the center of the flattened dough. Wrap the sides up around the bar, and smoosh it (a technical term) over the top of the candy so it is sealed on all sides. Be sure there are no cracks for Snickers goodness to leak out!
Place on a well-greased or parchment-lined (I prefer the parchment) baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and candy bars, spacing the cookies 2-inches apart.
Bake for 12-18 minutes, until the edges are set and the cookie looks puffy.
Let cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack (they will deflate and crack a bit as they cool). Let them cool completely. If desired, melt the melting chocolate or chocolate chips and drizzle over the top of the cookies in whatever design you like. (A fork works well for me as a drizzling implement.)
Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.