Tiny Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Buttons
I absolutely hate these cookies.
First of all, they are addictive. The peanut butter cookie melts in your mouth and has a sugary crunch. They are topped with a whole chocolate chip – white, milk, or bittersweet – to make them bite sized and dangerously irresistible.
Secondly, they are adorable: teeny tiny baby cookies, smaller than a quarter. When I brought them to school, some of my girl friends actually squealed as they held one. “These are so cute!” And they really are as cute as buttons.
Thirdly, they are excellent for any baker’s self esteem. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t fall in love with these cookies. Nothing compares to the warm, happy feeling I get when people reach for their third, fourth, even fifth cookie. They’re so small that no one can stop at one. And it makes me feel good.
And the last reason I hate these cookies? They are a real pain in the butt to make.
Every time I make these cookies, I actually say to myself, “I will never make these again.” The recipe makes 15 dozen little cookies. That’s 180 moments of happiness, 180 cute cookies on the cooling rack, 180 little balls of dough to measure, shape into circles, roll in sugar, and top with a chocolate chip.
Needless to say, I got very, very tired of making Tiny Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Buttons after about 8 dozen cookies.
Normally I would not even imagine posting such a frustrating recipe. But the results? Magic. I taste the first cookie and immediately eat my words. (Ha, ha, ha.) Every time. And there have been many times. And I know in my heart it won’t be long before I make this recipe again.
I’m sharing it with you now for two reasons. I made them for my friend A-’s birthday as he is a PB and chocolate fanatic. (He is a good friend through everything and deserves fantastic cookies on his birthday, even if they are annoying to make.) Plus, I discovered that the dough can be frozen! Thank goodness you don’t have to stand there and make 15 dozen cookies in one standing. Phew!
Your last excuse not to try them is gone.
My family was a little amused to see me standing in the kitchen, making cookies for such a long time. I was not. I briefly considered making them bigger, but I knew that would be beside the point. Half of the cookies’ charm is their size. So I continued on. The things you do for friendship!
When I finally couldn’t bear to bake another tray, I caved and wrapped the remaining dough in plastic wrap and stuck it in the freezer, planning to finish up the next day. Well, it turns out I didn’t want to roll cookies the next day either. So I used heaping tablespoons and made normal-sized mounds of dough before pressing down with a fork. The result? The best peanut butter cookies ever.
I brought these to school to oohs and ahhs. Hopefully A- enjoyed them as much as I did and had a lovely 17th birthday. Special cookies for an offbeat, original, artistic friend like no other.
A few notes on this recipe:
- The recipe can be halved, but you need to consider that the recipe calls for 1 egg.
- Don’t use your nice organic natural peanut butter on these. Use commercial PB, like Skippy’s.
- I use evaporated cane juice, which is brown. Your cookies might turn out lighter than mine if you use white granulated sugar.
- Don’t put too many cookies on each sheet. You need to press the chocolate chip into the cookie while it is still completely warm, and if there are too many cookies on the sheet they will cool too fast.
- The dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen. I’m not sure how long they’ll last, but I’d guess at least a week. Then take out of the freezer and let come to room temperature.
Tiny Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Buttons
From Hershey’s Easy Baking
Makes about 15 dozen cookies, depending on size
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Granulated sugar for rolling
Chocolate chips (any type)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat peanut butter and shortening until well mixed, then beat in the two sugars until light. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together, then add in 3 batches to the peanut butter mixture, beating well between additions.
I find that this dough is easier to work with when cold. Consider chilling the dough for 10 minutes or so before baking.
Using a 1/4 tsp, roll dough into 1/2 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 5-6 minutes (5 is best for me) and remove from oven. Immediately press a chocolate chip into the center of each cookie. Let cookies cool a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. [Note: the chocolate chip will be warm and gooey for some time, so be careful before stacking them.]
Alternatively, drop heaped tablespoons of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets and press down gently with the tines of a fork. Do not roll dough or coat with sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden for tasty PB cookies.
The cookies will keep for several days at room temperature in an airtight container.
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