There’s just something about the holiday season that seems to make many feel like baking; something about the cooler weather, friends and family visiting, and the lack of worrying about how one looks in a bathing suit seems to spell out a stronger desire for fresh-baked goods. I’m not immune myself, which is why I was testing out some new cookie recipes recently – Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip cookies and a shortbread with jam cookie. Both turned out well, but I’m partial to the first since it has a lovely combination of three types of cookies. The friend I was baking with preferred the shortbread. The results of both recipes have been disappearing faster than I would like from the kitchen, though, so I’m going to need to bake again before hosting my annual family get together.
Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookies (aka Everything Cookies)
Adapted from Peanut Butter Cookies IX on Allrecipes.com.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 rounded teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 heaping cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Finally, mix in the oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
Notes: These were delicious as is, but I plan to try to improve them by adding some dried cranberries, fresh ground nutmeg, additional cinnamon, and or more chocolate chips.
Shortbread Cookies with Jam
Adapted from Berry Shortbread Dreams recipe by Mildred Sherrer.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup seedless jam (I used two types of homemade jam: Berry Cranberry and Kiwi-Lime-Pineapple)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in extract; gradually add flour until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on un-greased baking sheets. Using the back of a 1/8 tsp measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center. Fill with jam.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 14-18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. While cookies are baking, combine glaze ingredients.
- When cookies are done, remove to wire racks to cool. Use a fork to stir up the glaze again; drizzle over cookies.
Tips: The vanilla extract tints the glaze a light tan brown color. If you prefer your glaze to be a pure white, use almond extract or leave out the extract altogether. I used vanilla since I like how the taste complimented the jam and because I’m allergic to almonds. If your jam is very sweet, you might consider using a little less of it when filling in your cookies since it might overpower the delicateness of the shortbread, especially if you plan to top with glaze as well.