Tis the season; sounds so wonderful, doesn’t it? It conjures up thoughts of dancing around the kitchen while I sing along joyously with Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby, leaving a faint dusting of snowy sugar over everything I touch, as I create the most amazing Christmas cookies. Then reality sets in, and I remember why I promise myself every year that it will be the last time I decide it’s less expensive and much more memorable to bake cookies as gifts for friends, neighbors, and family. I may start out thinking I’m saving myself huge piles of money, but really I’m just avoiding the insane parking lots surrounding my local mall, only to end up in the insane parking lot surrounding my local market instead. (Did I mention that I’m very forgetful? This inevitably means that I will endure over five trips to the same market in one week’s time.) Making cookies for fun is completely different from baking dozens of cookies to give as gifts. If I had to choose just one batch to bake, this would be the one, even if it does require an added trip to Trader Joe’s. These holiday cookies are salty and sweet, crunchy and soft at the same time, and the pairing of peanut butter and chocolate will make Santa a very jolly man on Christmas Eve. If he’s lucky he’ll get to enjoy them and make his escape before being attacked by Brenna!
Santa’s Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 2/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
- 2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Egg, Room Temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 2 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 (12.6-oz.) Bag of Christmas Milk Chocolate M&M’s
- 1 (12-oz.) Container Trader Joe’s Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- 1 Cup Dry Roasted Peanuts, Chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars for 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Add egg, mix for 1 minute.
- Add vanilla, mix for 1 minute.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture slowly to the butter mixture on low speed, mixing just until the flour is incorporated.
- Mix in the M&M’s, mini peanut butter cups, and chopped peanuts with a spatula.
- Use a cookie scoop to drop large tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool.
- Package in an airtight container.
- Substitute Christmas Peanut M&M’s or Christmas Peanut Butter M&M’s in place of Christmas Milk Chocolate M&M’s.
- If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, replace the mini peanut butter cups, with chopped Reese’s instead. Place them in the freezer 30 minutes before attempting to chop.
- This recipe makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.
- Sprinkle a little sea salt over the top of each cookie before baking.
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