If you ever need a dose of inspiration for holiday baking, go to my mom’s house. She makes over 2,000 cookies a year with at least 10 – 12 different variations. She has a list of 5 – 6 classics that she makes every year, but the rest are these amazing new ideas she thought of or found online. From pistachio crusted macarons to ugly sweater cookies to fruit cake bars, I can always count on her to surprise me with a new and addicitve holiday cookie.
As much as I love the unique sweets and the quirkly twists, I’ll always be a huge fan of the classics. As much as I love trying the new cookies, I always go back to the classics for seconds. I just can’t imagine Christmas without a few buckeyes, thumbprints or powdered snowballs.
That’s why when tasked with cookie baking for my office this weekend, I went straight to a classic. Sure I could have made another batch of holiday macarons or a lemon-rosemary sandwich cookie, but I wanted something that made people feel fuzzy inside. A cookie that, after the first bite, they smiled and said “These taste just like my grandmother used to make,” or “My mom makes these every year for the holidays!” A cookie that reminded them of the holidays. A cookie that gave them just a bit of nostalgia on a cold Monday morning.
Which is why I went with one of my favorite classics, peanut butter. You really can’t go wrong with a chewy, moist and soft peanut butter cookie. Even though these stray a little from the classic recipe (subbed in whole wheat for a slightly healthier cookie), my goal to get people to smile and laugh for a minute worked. A few of my colleagues gathered around my bosses desk and chatted while enjoying a few of these yesterday morning.
I know I’m not perfect and not every recipe I make is a good one, but when something you make brings people together, that’s cause for celebration in my book and a well deserved toot to the horn.
Super Soft & Chewy Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies
Yields about 16 cookies.
Prep time: 10 – 12 minutes
Chill time: 14 hours
Cook time: 12 – 14 minutes
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Dash of salt
- In a mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the peanut butter, butter, applesauce, egg, brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla together. Beat until thick and creamy.
- In another bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and mix until soft and fluffy. Cover bowl with saran wrap and chill for at least 10 – 14 hours (or overnight).
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the parchment paper about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet. Don’t overcrowd since they will spread a little.
- Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve warm with milk and enjoy!
Nutritional information per serving (1 cookie):
Fat: 8.8 grams
Fiber: >1 gram
Protein: 3.25 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 5