everyone in my family knows that my dad is partial to strawberry shortcake. we all love when his birthday rolls around so that my mom will make it and we can all sink our forks into this super moist untraditional birthday cake. having lived far away from my family for the past few years, i miss being at home on my dad's birthdays. while it goes without saying that i miss the familiarity and comfort of my family, i selfishly also miss that cake. with my dad's birthday rolling around again, i told my mom that i wanted to bake him cookies because it is what i'm most comfortable shipping at this point. she offered me two flavor suggestions: strawberry and reese's cups. this was an either/or before you start gagging.
lately, i've seen advertisements for a new product in the reese's brand of products. while it is my belief that you just can't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, you can go even more right with it for sure. oh reese's geniuses, you've done it again. their newest creation is a smaller version of their mini-cups. from the moment i laid eyes on these, i knew i had to create a recipe that gave them center stage.
so when my mom brought up reese's cups for my dad, it was a divinely flavorful intervention. here is the recipe i created below:
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (set 1 tsp aside for topping the cookies)
1 large egg
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup quartered reese's minis
this recipe yields two dozen cookies and can be easily manipulated to make more or less. you've just got to use a little math.
a. preheat your oven to 350°F.
b. in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment or with your hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until they look fluffy. then, in order, add your egg, vanilla and peanut butter. continue to mix.
c. sift together the flour, baking powder and salt before adding it to your batter. mix it in until everything is just combined.
d. take your mini reese's and quarter them with a knife. fold them into your prepared batter. with a small scooper, plop a small amount of dough into your hand and roll into a ball before placing on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. if you find this process to be sticky, keep your hands wet with cold water. flatten the cookies with something from your cutlery drawer or just use the palm of your hand. pinch a little bit of granulated sugar over each cookie to lightly sand the top.
e. bake the cookies for 16-17 minutes. do not overbake; even if they do not look quite done at 17 minutes. after removing the first batch from the oven, let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack for cooling. repeat with your second dozen.
as i began to prepare the batter for these rich cookies, my eyes kept wandering over to the bag of mini reese's and i found myself rushing through the beginning steps in order to get my hands on these babies.
after mixing and sifting and scraping and measuring, the magic moment was upon me. i almost ran over to the orange bag sitting pretty on the counter. instead, i carefully...ok no, i ran. after ripping it open, my hands did the talking as they popped one little mini reese's into my mouth and then there was no turning back. i dare you not to eat them when you're making a recipe like this.
folding the reese's chips into the batter gave off such a peanut buttery aroma. this cookie is not for the weak of peanut butter heart. when they came out of the oven, i waited about forty-five seconds before i pinched off a bite of one. after they cooled and i took the time to properly eat a whole cookie in its finished form, i discovered that the peanut butter part of the mini reese's basically melded right in with the peanut butter in the batter. now, i'm not saying there's anything wrong with this as they were delish. however, if you want to really have the reese's stand out, a plain sugar cookie might be a better base.
i guess i really am my father's daughter because strawberry and reese's are my favorites too. again, it's an either/or.