Making this cookie is a little more involved than some of the previous posts for this year's Christmas Treats, but it is well worth it. This is a buttery, thumbprint type cookie with the thumbprint filled with a peanut butter topping. It makes an attractive and different addition to a Christmas cookie tray.
You need to plan ahead to make these as both the cookie dough and the filling need to be chilled. They both can be chilled longer than 2 hours, but you may need to let the cookie dough warm up a bit to make rolling the dough into balls easier. I use my cookie scoop to measure out the dough.
While the cookies are doing their first baking, I use a half-teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the dabs of filling onto waxed paper and then just pick them up to put them in the indentations in the cookies. The cookies do not get brown.
Peanut Butter Gems
1/4 c. peanut butter
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 t. light corn syrup
2 t. hot water
1 c. butter or margarine, softened (I always use butter)
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and hot water to make a
smooth, thick paste. Cover and refrigerate. In a large mixing bowl combine butter and
sugar until well blended; beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt
in a small bowl and mix well. Add to butter mixture and mix well. Cover and chill 2
hours. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on a greased baking
sheet and with your finger make a depression in the center of each ball. Bake at 400
degrees for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and place 1/2 teaspoon of the peanut butter
mixture into each depression. Return cookies to oven and continue baking until topping
is bubbly, about 5 minutes longer. Cool. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.