This is really just our peanut butter cookie recipe dressed up a bit for Halloween. I’m not 100% satisfied with the spiders, I think I could have done better but overall it’s a cute cookie. …
I like peanut butter. I like crunchy stuff. I like chocolate. Combine all three and I am one happy girl. This recipe came about from a memory I have that is probably first grade. We made these peanut butter balls (no cooking involved) that we rolled with our hands and then rolled in sprinkles. I don’t remember what was in them other than peanut butter and sugar but the memory of the taste combined with the crunch of the sprinkles stuck with me. Fast forward a few years (OK maybe a few decades) and I decided that I needed a peanut butter cookie in my arsenal but I wanted something unique. Something different. This is the result. The key here is NOT to overcook them. They are supposed to have an uncooked feel to them. If you don’t believe me, cook one longer and see the difference for yourself.
The crunch comes from the large colored sugar on the outside. Don’t use chunky peanut butter. It’s not nice.
I would suggest you chill the dough before using. While you don’t have to, it will be less messy when you go to roll them in your hands. As you can see from the pictures, we used chocolate chips which means these are very small. They are basically one bite cookies. Yeah it’s more of a hassle but I love all things in miniature form. It just tastes better.
I waited until they were out of the oven to add the chocolate chip. If you let them cool too much they will crack a little when you do this. I personally don’t mind this, they all eat the same.
I recently did a larger version of these for Halloween with a chocolate spider on top. Super cute.
Finally, if you are curious about the polish pottery in the pictures, we have that available too.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Using a mixer, blend together the butter and peanut butter for 30 seconds
Add both sugars and mix for another 30 seconds
Add the egg, milk and vanilla and blend for another 30 seconds
In two batches add the flour, baking soda and salt. Using a spatula, mix until just blended through
Ideally you should chill the dough for at least two hours
Roll each cookie (approx 1 teaspoon of batter) in your palm and then place in a bowl of colored sugar. Carefully roll it around until coated and transfer to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If you happen to be using polish pottery, skip the parchment. No need to use non stick spray either
Cook for 5 minutes
Remove from the oven and add a chocolate chip to the center of each cookie immediately
Originally this recipe was for a pineapple upside down cake. I’ve made this many times before and it’s enormous. Almost too big really. We are a family of four so in order to justify making this, I have to travel around to friends and family and give them cake. Small price to pay really (and the friends and family certainly don’t complain) but I wanted to make something more realistic so I wondered if using my trusty muffin pan would result in something better. The answer was a resounding YES! Not only are they are the perfect size and portion but the edges caramelized so you have a sugary crunch on the outside and a super rich, moist cake on the inside. Everyone agreed they were better but not everyone agreed that one was enough.
I’ll be honest though. The polish pottery that I used to make these, made the difference. They hold moisture and helped caramelize the sides in a way that metal pans do not. So with that being said, these may come out fine with a metal pan but I would consider using liners. With polish pottery they pop right out.
A few notes. The mini cakes should cook at 350 but if you decide to make the larger cake version (use a 9×13 pan and stoneware if possible), the oven needs to be at 375. Have tinfoil ready and as the cake gets brown around the edges, place a piece lightly over the top to keep the edges from getting too brown.
This is not a diet friendly dessert. If you are going to make this, you have to commit to it. It’s an all or nothing kind of cake. Those with frequent food guilt should move along.
Key lime pie. Those words alone make my jaw seize up. It’s so tart and delicious and in fact has less sugar than you might think. The pie itself gets its flavor solely from the limes. My family loves this pie and it’s really easy to make. You can certainly use regular limes here. Sometimes I have the patience to squeeze a bowl full of tiny key limes, sometimes I don’t.
One of the greatest smells to ever fill a house is apple and cinnamon. One year I got tired of the same desserts every holiday. This recipe came to me via a friend and while I did alter a few small things, it was a big success. It is not too dense and smells divine while it bakes. I’m even thinking of adding a little caramel drizzle with my next slice. The original recipe called for a Bundt pan with all the apples on the bottom with the batter on top but I preferred layering it. Oh that and I didn’t have a bundt pan.
First, fill a mixing bowl halfway with water. You’re going to put your apple slices in this while preparing the rest. It will keep them from turning brown. If you’re like me, you start stressing as soon as that blade hits the skin because the last thing any of us wants is a brown apple. (I stressed the same way over potatoes too until I learn this trick)
Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a medium size bowl half way with water. You will use this for the apple slices until you are ready to use them.
Peel the apples and then cut them in half. Cut the flesh off in thin slices. I don’t particularly like big chunky apple pieces and this works nice when layering. Cut the core out of course and throw the slices in the bowl of water as you go. For the record I used Braeburn apples. They are a sweeter variety and hold up well to cooking.
Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix lightly.
In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, oil and ½ cup juice and then add to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated
Strain the apples and discard the water. Add the melted butter and toss to coat. Make sure you do a thorough job here.
Add the cinnamon and 4 teaspoons sugar and again, toss to coat.
Spray a 9x11 pan with non stick spray (or coat with butter/flour).
Start layering. Add a thin layer of batter and then a layer of apple. Some people like to coat the bottom with the apple and add the batter on top. Continue until you end up with a layer of mostly batter on top. Please note that the batter will be thick so it won't spread and pour like you might expect. Just add clumps around, it will spread out as you go.
Bake for about an hour but start checking it at 50 minutes or so. When done, remove from the oven and let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.