I found a cookbook at the library that was something like 50 cookies from the same cookie dough. It got me thinking - is there a way I could make 50 different cookies from my peanut butter cookie recipe since it's a family favorite and a super easy gluten free cookie. I have played with a few ideas and made them yesterday.
The basic recipe is what I call the 2 peanut butter cookie (this is not original to me but I have made it for so long I can't tell you who originally made the cookie).
This particular recipe I found when I had a hospice client tell me her last helper would make her peanut butter cookies but they weren't like anyone else's. I found this recipe in a cooking for kids cookbook (something like One Bite Won't Kill You). She didn't think they were the right cookies but my family really liked them. So when the time came to make cookies for a family reunion - I offered to make these. My aunt complained that I wasn't going to make the right cookies so I ended up making 2 batches - these and the traditional peanut butter cookies. The traditional cookies were left practically uneaten.
Peanut Butter Cookies
2 cups peanut butter (I use an entire 16-18 oz jar because it's just over 2 cups)
2 cups sugar
2 teas baking soda
1 teas vanilla
Cream peanut butter and sugar together. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Add baking soda and vanilla. Mix until everything is smooth and creamy. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Flatten on baking sheet - these spread so you want to keep a good inch or so all around them. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. I always bake my cookies on a silpat lined baking sheet. They will come out of the oven really soft so be careful to not over bake. Let cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before removing. If they absolutely fall apart while transferring then they need to be cooked a little longer (it's fine to put them back in the oven at this point so long as you didn't let them sit too long). They should be firm but crumbly.
This weekend I tried making them into thumbprint cookies. The cookies don't really hold their shape so they were not cute thumbprints but the raspberry jam was a great compliment to the peanut butter cookie. What I did was made an impression in each cookie prior to baking and filled it with about 1/2 teas jam. A full teaspoon might be fine since the cookies spread.
Another variation and one we use often is to mix in chocolate chips. This time I made the cookies as I would normally and pressed chocolate chips into the dough after laying it out on the cookie sheet.
This is the first 2 variations I made without changing the dough. I will post soon the oatmeal peanut butter cookies I created - so good.