This is technically about 2-3 weeks overdue as a post about what to do with your Halloween candy. But the thing is, this is a great idea for anytime–I mean how cute are these cups? And so easy! And just as tasty with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, M&Ms, Reece’s Pieces, or mini marshmallows–all of which are in my pantry year round (is that embarrassing? Why do I feel no shame?).
So whether you bookmark this for next Halloween or make it a holiday cookie project (try using holiday colored M&Ms, etc), I highly recommend you give these a try. I found the recipe at MyRecipes–where they used storebought refrigerator peanut butter cookie dough. After much searching, I decided that the King Arthur Peanut Butter Crisscross recipe would best work in its place (since I prefer to bake from scratch–although I did adapt it slightly). If you make the dough from scratch, be aware that you will have a lot of dough–so why not put some of it in the fridge for when you need a no-effort cookie?
- 1 (16.5-oz.) package refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough or use the recipe below
- 24 bite-size chocolate candy bars or chocolate chips and/or peanut butter chips
- M&Ms, Reece's Pieces and mini marshmallows for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Shape the peanut butter cookie dough into 1 inch balls, and place lightly greased mini muffin wells (you do not need to press into the tin--the dough will naturally bake to the shape of the cup). Bake for 10 minutes and then add the chocolate candy pieces or chocolate and peanut butter chips. Return to the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until edges of the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle the insides of the cups with M&Ms, Reeces Pieces or mini marshmallows.
- ½ cup (3¼ oz) shortening (I used Earth Balance)
- ½ cup (3¼ oz) lard*
- ½ cup (4 oz) light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup (4 oz) dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 cup (9½ oz) smooth peanut butter (I used Jiff)
- 1 cup (3¼ oz) white whole wheat flour
- 2 cups (9½ oz) AP flour
- 2 t baking soda
- ½ t salt
- *If you use Crisco, you could use 1 cup (6½ oz) all Crisco, but I like to avoid Crisco, and the organic Earth Balance shortening is softer at room temperature, so I used the firmer lard to help balance it out.
- Whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Cream the shortening and lard together to blend and then cream in the peanut butter. When it is smooth and evenly blended, add the sugars and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat in. Stir in the flour mixture. Chill for 30 minutes, or until firm enough to roll into balls. Use as directed above.
I think this is a great interactive cooking idea that you could easily get other people involved in.
Any chance you could substitute the shortening with just butter as I hardly use shortening in my cooking?
Ohh that is a great idea. I love this idea.
Yum, those look like nests so you could easily use them for Easter or Spring holidays.
What a wonderful little treat! Thanks for sharing.
These are just adorable. What a cool snack.
I saw that on the same site, and was turned off by the pre-made cookie dough. Wonder why I never thought to just make my own…the peanut butter variety sounds perfect!! 🙂 Yum.
Jara: I had the same quandary but opted for the organic shortening/lard combo (I am a big lard fan anyway). I feel that lard/shortening act very differently from butter in cookies, but having said that the muffin tins might keep them from spreading. If you try let us know how they turn out!