I ran across this idea in a Taste of Home compilation book. I LOVE the idea of dressing up everyday drop cookies like peanut butter cookies. Last night I made the cookies for these and stored them, plain, in a clear plastic container. When my husband tried to eat one, I slapped him away, saying they weren’t done yet. “I am going to improve them”, I said. He paused for a second, then responded, “You think peanut butter cookies can be improved?” Because around our house, peanut butter cookies reign supreme. He even considers them to be a “Christmas cookie” because his great-grandma used to make them at Christmas. I’ve argued that they 1) aren’t colorful and 2) don’t contain any seasonal ingredients and therefore can’t be a Christmas cookie, but neither he nor any of his clan care. Peanut butter cookies are a Christmas cookie, and not only that, they are the best cookie.
So with a couple of store-bought ingredients, you can quickly turn this plain brown unassuming drop cookie into an eye-popping decadent dessert. I am going to include my go-to recipe for peanut butter cookies, but honestly you could do this with cookies made from pre-made refrigerated dough rolls, or even pre-bought cookies if you want to get all Semi-Homemade and make Sandra Lee proud. Once you’ve dolled them up with their frosting and peanut brittle, no one is going to know or care if you made them from scratch.
All you need are your favorite peanut butter cookies, some Reese’s peanut butter baking morsels, and some crushed peanut brittle. After your cookie has cooled, frost it with a swirl of the melted Reese’s chips, and them sprinkle crumbled peanut brittle on top for a triple-insane-peanut dessert.
My favorite peanut butter cookie recipe comes from the King Arthur Cookie Companion, and is made with shortening rather than butter. I prefer the shortening in these cookies for two reasons. The first is that my son is allergic to dairy, and the shortening means they are dairy-free. The other is that peanut butter cookies made with butter tend to get flat and spread. The shortening helps these stay nice and thick and puffy and hold their shape in the oven.
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, your choice)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 bag Reese's peanut butter baking morsels
- peanut brittle
- Preheat oven to 350 and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream shortening and both sugars together until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add baking soda, salt, and peanut butter, beating slowly to combine.
- Gradually add flour, mixing slowly so as not to make a mess. Beat until just combined and no flour remains visible.
- Drop by the tablespoon onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten with the bottom of a glass or use a fork to make the classic "criss-cross" pattern on top.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.
- Allow cookies to cool fully on rack.
- Melt peanut butter morsels in a microwave-safe bowl on low setting. With a small spatula or spoon, frost the top of each cookie with melted peanut butter morsels, then sprinkle with crushed peanut brittle. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.