Admittedly, Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are a great way to use up bags of leftover Halloween candy (or the candies you've pilfered from your child's stash of Halloween treats). Nonetheless, the cookies are good any time of the year. After all, not many people can resist a simple, buttery-tasting cookie with a mini peanut butter cup centered in the middle. The cookies are soft, squishy, lightly flavored with vanilla and cinnamon, and great with milk or a warm drink. Unfortunately, I can't claim these cookies are "health food." They aren't. Nonetheless, they aren't too horrendously bad for you, that is, as long as you don't eat too many (sorry, but it will be tempting). I've cut back on the butter in the original recipe and included some white whole wheat flour, which gives the cookies a nice nutty flavor and a more robust texture than plain white flour. One "fun size" bag of Reese's or other peanut butter cups will be plenty for the recipe, and you'll have a half dozen or so peanut butter cups left over in case you need to do some taste testing along the way--just to to ensure the peanut butter cups are worthy of appearing in your homemade cookies--or in the event you need them to bribe a child to help you remove the wrappers from the candies. Don't like peanut butter cups? No problem. Substitute another type of chocolate-covered candy instead. Rollos or fun-sized Snickers bars cut in half work well, and mint patties are great for Christmastime. And, of course, you could go for Hershey's Kisses, of whatever variety you like.
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies -- Makes 24-26 Cookies
1/2 cup of butter, softened
2/3 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of canola oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
24-26 small peanut butter cup candies, unwrapped and papers removed
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat two cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line them with parchment. Cream the butter and sugars together. Beat in the oil, vanilla, and eggs until everything is well combined. Add the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter. Drop 12-13 mounds of batter--roughly two tablespoons or walnut sized--onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the mounds two inches apart. Press a peanut butter cup into the center of each mound, squishing it down into the batter so the sides of the candy are encased in the batter. Use your fingers to shape the cookies around the peanut butter cup and even out the batter into rounds. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, but check the cookies after 10. The cookies should just be beginning to brown on the edges. Let the cookies cool a few minutes on the cookies sheets before removing them to cool completely.