Cookie cravings!

With peanut butter and chocolate, you can't go wrong
I know what you're thinking.. not another dessert recipe! I have been inspired this week by my daughter who is becoming quite a good cookie maker.
   Although I like her yummy chocolate chip cookies, lately I have had a craving for peanut butter cookies. Growing up we always pressed chocolate stars into our peanut butter cookies but now chocolate stars are harder to find and Hershey's kisses are a good alternative. But why stop at just chocolate in the cookies? That gets my taste buds working! There is just so much you can do with peanut butter and cookies.
   I have seen recipes where you roll the peanut butter cookie dough into balls and make an indentation in them with your thumb. Then you bake them. When they are cool you fill the indent with your favorite jam. I tried it and it is just like a sweet PB & J sandwich. I have also seen a recipe for peanut butter cookies that were rolled in coconut flakes instead of sugar. If you really like peanut butter and chocolate together you could make the dough balls a little bigger and just after they come out of the oven you could try putting the mini Reece's Peanut Butter Cups on them instead of the Hershey's Kisses. I like using crunchy peanut butter so I get the small chunks of peanuts in the cookies. My son Daniel used to like making what we called Monster Cookies (because of their size) that included peanut butter, oatmeal, raisins, M&M's, and some kind of chopped nuts in the batter. We would make those even "healthier" by substituting half of the unbleached white flour with whole wheat flour. Then we would roll that dough into about 2 inch balls. They didn't last long in our house. One year for a county fair project Daniel, Leslie and I made unbaked peanut butter cookies that were shaped and decorated to look like honey bees. They turned out really cute and tasted great!
   About a month ago I found some milk chocolate stars and now I am ready to make my favorite peanut butter cookies. Have fun experimenting with your own toppings!
   Peanut Blossoms
   1 3/4 cups flour
   1/4 - 1/2 cup white sugar
   1/2 cup white sugar
   1/2 cup brown sugar
   50 chocolate stars or Hershey's kisses
   1 tsp soda
   1 tsp salt
   1/2 cup shortening
   1/2 cup peanut butter
   1 egg
   2 T milk
   1 tsp vanilla
   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
   Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a mixing bowl add the shortening through the vanilla and blend until smooth. Slowly add dry ingredients until well mixed. Use a spoon to scoop out dough and shape into balls about 1 inch in size. Roll dough ball into 1/4 cup- 1/2 cup white sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. After removing from oven immediately press stars, kisses or whatever goodies you choose onto cookies. Let cool a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Makes about 48-50 cookies.
   Becky Teater is a Powell Butte resident. She welcomes your recipe ideas and comments and can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.