What’s better than eating gelt straight up? Eating gelt that’s been pressed into a peanut butter cookie! And since Hanukkah is right around the corner and we’re approaching peak cookie swap time, I thought I’d jump on the gelt cookie train.

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I considered trying a new spin on gelt cookies. I thought the crumbly texture of a shortbread cookie might contrast nicely with the smoothness of the gelt. Or maybe a brownie with pieces of gelt layered inside of it. But peanut butter and chocolate is such a perfect pairing that it overshadowed the other options. Here’s my take on the simple peanut butter blossoms, with a piece of gelt standing in for the usual Hershey’s Kisses. Because sometimes classic really is the best way to go.

Peanut Butter and Gelt Cookies

Makes about 35 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) room-temperature butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus extra to roll dough balls in
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • About 35 gelt pieces

Directions

  1. Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer, use whisk attachment to cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and mix until combined. Beat in vanilla and egg. In medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder to combine. Slowly add flour mixture until dough forms. (Dough might look pebbly but it will be soft and cohesive enough to form dough balls.)
  3. Add about 3 tablespoons granulated sugar to small mixing bowl. Scoop heaping 1-tablespoon dough portions into bowl, a few at a time, and roll around until covered. Roll into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between dough balls. Using your fingers, make a slight indentation in the center of each dough ball. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are just starting to brown around edges, 9 to 11 minutes, rotating pan 180 degrees halfway through baking. Remove sheet pan from oven and place one piece of gelt in center of each cookie, lightly pressing gelt into cookie. Return cookies to oven and bake until gelt has softened, about 2 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and transfer to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

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