I have two Halloween-themed cookies for you guys. And two separate videos!
Both cookies have similar processes but there are two different flavors and characters.
First up, we have these Peanut Butter Spidie Cookies. This is a spin on Peanut Butter Blossom cookies. You know, the peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's chocolate kiss in the middle? This time, they're made extra peanut buttery with a mini Reese's peanut butter cup instead.
To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Reese's peanut butter cups. Last Thanksgiving, one of my aunts put together a peanut butter cup tasting and we had to guess which one was which. Right off the bat, I knew which one was Reese's with it's grainy, chalky peanut butter.
But, it's Halloween, and when it comes to Trick-or-Treating, I can slide on the Reese's peanut butter cups. Halloween is the time for trashy candy. You'll never see some hipster peanut butter cups in your Trick-or-Treat bag. In a perfect world where it is acceptable for recent college grads to Trick-or-Treat, I'd want my bag to be filled with Junior Mints, Whoppers, Twix, 100 Grand, and Milky Ways. That's all. No Laffy Taffy, or suckers, or Almond Joy, or fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls. Gross, gross, gross. The list of rejected candy could goes on and on.
One of my favorite parts about Trick-or-Treating as a kid was coming back flushed with excitement and the cold. There was always candy sorting and the disappointment of only getting one piece of a yummy candy and ten pieces of a disgusting candy. That was the beauty of sorting. In the end, Kristen and I would just place all of our rejected candy back in the bowl ready to be passed out in handfuls to the last hopeful kids.
But, I'm too old for that so I made lots of cookies with candy instead. I'll wait for Qiao to send Kristen and I another big box of her Halloween candy from Hawaii. It's always just a tad bit too melted.
In a cookie, these Reese's peanut butter cups get an extra flavor boost. They're just a little bit melted in the cookie with an extra bit of peanut butter flavor.
The dough for these cookies can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer until further use. Then, roll them in sugar, bake, press in the candies, cool the cookies and decorate!
Can't view it? Here's a link to the video on Vimeo.
I hope all of you Harry Potter fans got my reference! And if you didn't, re-read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 7: The Boggart in the Wardrobe.
Stay tuned for Halloween Cookies Part 2 next week.
Peanut Butter Spidie Cookies
Adapted from the Peanut Butter Blossoms in the Sunset Cookie book
Yields: 2½ to 3 dozen cookies
You can cool the cookies faster in the freezer but allow them to come completely up to room temperature before icing. Make sure there is no condensation on the tops of the peanut butter cups.
½ cup shortening and peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar and firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2½ -3 dozen mini Reese's peanut butter cups
¼ cup powdered sugar
Milk or water
⅓ cup powdered sugar
⅓ cup cocoa powder
Milk or water
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat shortening, peanut butter, the ½ cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to the shortening mixture, blending thoroughly. Chill for 30 minutes or overnight.
Place ¼ cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Rolls dough in 1-inch balls, then roll in sugar to coat. Place balls 2-inches apart on greased baking sheets.
Bake in a 350ºF oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap peanut butter cups. Remove cookies from oven and quickly top each with a peanut butter cup, gently pressing down until cookie cracks around the edges.
Transfer to racks and let cool completely.
While cookies cool, assemble icing. Place powdered sugar in one bowl and powdered sugar plus cocoa powder in another bowl. Gradually add the milk one teaspoon at a time until icing is the texture of toothpaste. Place each icing in a Ziploc sandwich bag with a small tip snipped off or a squeeze bottle.
On the cooled cookies, start with piping the whites of the eyes. Add the pupils and eight legs, 4 on each side. Set aside to dry. Store in an airtight container.