Reese’s Pieces Cookies
I hope I’m not the only one who is helpless in the face of a good peanut butter cookie. I’d take a good one over chocolate chip any day. (I also love oatmeal raisin, but I understand that certain people don’t appreciate the raisins because they are often mistaken for chocolate chips–a malicious masquerade–so we won’t speak about those today.) These cookies, which are peanut butter cookies at their heart, have the added bonus of oatmeal to hold their structure and Reese’s Pieces scattered throughout, just to up the peanut butter ante. Along with a couple of old standards, these might be my favorite cookies of all time.
This recipe was scaled down from a recipe from the Williams College Bakeshop, my first official baking job, so it reminds me of my first encounters with sixty-quart mixers, quintuple batches of Rice Krispies Treats, and other economy-sized novelties. At first I thought it was really strange that they used bread flour, but it gives the cookies a special, crumbly texture. I’ve tried to substitute all-purpose flour, and they really don’t taste the same. They also keep for a really long time, which was why I included them in my Christmas cookie tins this year.
When I’m at home, I usually make cookies by hand, because it’s how I first learned. I think this method works particularly well because you don’t want to whip too much air into your butter for most cookies (over-aerated butter = cookies that poof and then collapse later), and you certainly don’t want to knead them once you’ve added the flour (over-developed gluten = tough, unlovable cookies.) When you’re using a mixer, it’s easy to turn on the paddle and let it get carried away. So I always mix my cookies with a spoon in a bowl, just until combined–it’s the only way to feel when your dough is finished. I recently realized that for years I have accidentally been relying on this secret to make fantastic homemade cookies, long before really understanding the science behind it.
I don’t have any pictures of the finished cookies because they were in the cookie tins and merrying people’s Christmases before I knew it! But if you can imagine a firm peanut butter oatmeal cookie with far too many candy chunks for its own good… need I say more? At the risk of putting my love of peanut butter into question, I’m also imagining all of the variations you could make by substituting other nut butters: hazelnut butter with coarse chocolate chunks instead of Reese’s Pieces; almond butter with toffee bits… the possibilities are endless. Whether you decide to use the recipe as-is or tinker a little to make it your own, enjoy!
Reese’s Pieces Cookies
Makes 60 cookies
1 c. butter, softened
1 ½ c. peanut butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
¾ c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 ¼ c. bread flour
1 c. oats
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
6-8 oz. Reese’s Pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
2. Cream the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fluffy.
3. Add the egg and vanilla, blending well.
4. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and baking powder; mix well.
5. Drop cookies by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 6 – 8 minutes, or until edges are slighly golden brown.