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a couple of years ago for hanukkah, my parents gifted me with what i consider to be my very own bible: the all-american cookie book by nancy baggett. this book is where 99% of my favorite cookie recipes come from, with the exception of one: the peanut butter kiss.

 you’ve probably had a peanut butter kiss before. in fact, in high school i once made out with a guy after a party who tasted a lot like peanut butter. et voila, a peanut butter kiss! no, but really – it’s my experience that many a man taste like peanut butter when you kiss them. hey, it’s better than tasting of cigarettes and stale beer, right?

 anywho, you’ve also probably had a peanut butter kiss COOKIE before, too. you know, those deliciously crackly peanut butter cookies wrapped in sugar, the ones with a hershey’s kiss melted smack dab into the middle. there’s little better in life than peanut butter and chocolate (mint and chocolate is pretty damn amazing too), as reese’s cups and haagen dazs’ chocolate peanut butter ice cream demonstrate. these cookies are incredibly simple and take less than 10 minutes to whip up, then another ten to bake. they taste amazing, look adorable, and make a great gift. right now, there’s a bunch of them sitting in my glass cookie jar, looking pretty all day every day. 

 seriously, you can’t go wrong with these. they converted my peanut butter hating roommate into a fan. girl ever asked for the recipe. that’s when you know she’s come over to the dark side of PB and chocolate. you’ll notice that i went for hershey’s white chocolate swirl kisses. this wasn’t intentional. i was actually quite unhappy when i opened the bag and saw i’d gotten the wrong kind –  but you know what? turns out peanut butter is just as good with white chocolate as it is with milk chocolate. 

The Recipe *adapted from a cooks.com recipe search

 1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 egg

4 tbsp milk

2 tsp vanilla

1 bag hershey’s kisses (flavor of your choice)

 additional 1/2 cup white sugar

 to make, preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease two baking sheets (or cover with parchment paper or silicone mats).

 combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. set aside. in a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer, if you’ve got one), mix sugars, butter, peanut butter, egg, milk and vanilla until creamy. go on, dip your finger in. it’s goooood, isn’t it? now, slowly mix in the dry ingredients.

 take your additional 1/2 cup of white sugar and put it in a small bowl. roll your dough into golf-sized balls (or a little smaller) and roll in the sugar. place on cookie sheet, about 1″ apart. bake for 8-10 minutes (they should be golden and cracked around the top), and immediately place a single chocolate kiss* in the center of each cookie.

 *insider’s tip: peel the wrappers from your kisses ahead of time, and stick them in a bowl in the freezer. this ensures that they won’t melt entirely when you put them into the hot cookies.

 now, resist the urge to eat the whole batch at once. or don’t. but don’t blame me if you have a tummy ache tomorrow. 

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when i first started this blog, i thought i’d mostly write about cookies, because they’re the thing i make more than anything. but since it’s been hot as balls outside, i’ve been experimenting (i’ve got some great  easy popsicle recipes coming up!), and since i’ve been working long hours, i’ve been procrastinating on food gawker, finding some cool non-cookie recipes. but with this recipe, i’m going back to my roots. you know, my cookie roots.

if you ask me, there’s really nothing better than a freshly baked cookie. slightly crisp on the outside, perfectly chewy on the inside. a good cookie isn’t halfway to heaven – it’s all the way there, propelling you past the stars into some outer space like region where everything sparkles and is drenched in natural sunlight and filled with the most adorable kittens you’ve ever seen. what? that’s not your vision of heaven?

anywho, there’s not much to say about these cookies, except that they involve peanut butter. and oats. and when you put those two things together, magic happens. i know everyone hates on oatmeal raisin cookies. they’re like the bastard stepchild of chocolate chip, the one that always has to sit way at the end of the dinner table and gets served last at breakfast. but i LOVE oatmeal cookies, because they’re thick and chewy and substantial (sometimes, a chocolate chip cookie just ain’t enough). now, that’s not to say i don’t love a good chocolate chip recipe. you know i do. i’m just saying, sometimes you need a lil more somethin’ somethin’….you know what i mean?

of course you do. and you’re going to make these guys and REALLY know what i mean. i stumbled across this recipe on my favorite time-wasting website, pinterest, and bookmarked them immediately. i mean, hello, can you say “peanut butter oatmeal sandwich cookie” three times fast? i can. this recipe yields the sort of homey, straight to the top of your “comfort food” list, stuff your face while you’re watching bad TV cookies that sweet dreams are made of.

let’s make ’em, shall we?

*recipe adapted from broma bakery.

The Recipe

For the cookies:

1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
 2  teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey roasted peanut butter (you can find it freshly ground at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
for the filling:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2-4 tbsp milk (for extra creaminess)
1 tsp vanilla
to make, preheat your oven to 350. in a medium sized bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. set aside. in a stand mixer (or a large bowl, if you don’t have a stand mixer), whip the butter and sugars until creamy. mix in the egg and beat until incorporated then do the same with the peanut butter and vanilla. note: i added more vanilla than broma’s original recipe. i add more vanilla to everything i bake. in fact, i don’t even measure it. i just pour it in. and it always tastes better.
now, beat in your dry ingredients until just incorporated (don’t overbeat!). now, place rounded teaspoon-sized balls of batter onto an ungreased baking sheet. note: i use silicon baking mats on all my baking sheets. they help your cookies bake more evenly and prevent burning and sticking. get one. bake your cookies for 8-10 minutes, until golden on the sides. let cool for a few minutes on your baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
while your cookies are cooling, clean your stand mixer bowl and get to work on the filling. beat the confectioner’s sugar and peanut butter until light and airy. i needed to add some milk to mine to thin it out, and i also added a few squirts of vanilla. what? i can’t help it. i’m a vanillaholic.
to make, line up your cookies and match them up sizewise. then, spread about a teaspoon of filling onto one cookie and top with another. smush together to spread out the filling. et voila! sandwich cookies that are WAY better than any regular sandwich could ever be.