Friday, January 21, 2011

"There's No Wrong Way to Bake a Reese's"

There is something sacred in the simple tasks of measuring flour and cracking eggs, and I always find my best refuge in baking cookies. Granted, cakes always provide a challenge and new tiers of technique. But cookies, for me, are analogous to your local corner store: that familiar place where “everybody knows your name”. Whether of a classic or decorated variety, cookies are and always have been simple perfections. Yet when recently approached by a coworker to bake a batch, I was in more of the “challenge” mindset, and chocolate chip cookies just wouldn’t cut it. And then I remembered my pantry held a hidden treasure: an unopened bag of Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures…there was no stopping me now, and so I created Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Cups. Warning: these cookies are extremely addictive and may induce behavior akin to the capriciousness to Taz the Tasmanian Devil.
Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cups made their debut in 1928, when Harry Burnett Reese, a dairy farmer and shipping foreman for Milton S. Hershey, made "two great tastes that taste great together” a sweet reality (Wikipedia). Following his death, Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cups became a part of the Hershey®’s “Empire” and have since captured the hearts of candy lovers across the world. According to their website, Reese’s® creates enough peanut butter cups to provide every person living in the United States, Japan, Europe, Australia, China, Africa, and India with one cup per year! 
Note: I made the dough for these cookies ahead of time, knowing full-well they would be best freshly baked. I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and stored it in the refrigerator overnight, then allowed it to thaw for 5 minutes the next morning prior to baking. These cookies were also my first run with my new cookie scoop (see photo above), and I loved it! I also refrigerated the peanut butter cups the night before, unwrapped, in an airtight container. While preparing the cookies the next morning, I transferred the tray of Reese's to the freezer - this prevented the chocolate from melting while being pressed into the freshly baked cookies (but boy did they melt after...yummy!)    
Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Cups
Yields: 36 - 40 cookie cups

  - 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  - 1/2 teaspoon salt
  - 1 teaspoon baking soda
  - 1/2 cup butter, softened
  - 1/2 cup white sugar
  - 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
  - 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
  - 1 large egg, beaten
  - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  - 2 tablespoons milk  
  - 40 Reese's® Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures, unwrapped (and frozen for at least 10 min)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a mini muffin pan/two mini muffin pans with cooking spray. Stir together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture, mix well (if making ahead: shape the dough into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap; store in the refrigerator - will keep for 1 day).

Shape into 40 balls and place each into the mini muffin pan(s). Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a (frozen) peanut butter cup into each cookie. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, and carefully remove from pan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have had these Reese's cookies before, but never this good. We were trying to figure out how you made them. These were quality. Thanks for making them and thanks for sharing the recipe. Hopefully more people will read this...and make them for me. -vjg

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