Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. The music, lights, sounds, smells, and who could forget, the cookies, help to keep the season bright. One of my favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit is by baking a batch of fresh, homemade Christmas cookies. This cookie recipe will satisfy your inner child because the two main ingredients are peanut butter and jelly!!
Baking is much different from cooking. You have to follow the directions and measure everything exactly or your outcome won’t be successful. This is usually why I stray away from baking because I’m more of a taste-and-season-as-I-go kinda gal. I can’t sit and measure every little thing. However, for Christmas I will make an exception and bake up a storm. These cookies are super easy and everyone will adore them!
For this recipe you will need:
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. strawberry jam
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter. *This is known as the creaming process.* Beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, beating on a low speed until just incorporated.
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly and gradually, add the dry mixture to the butter mixture, beating on a low speed just until incorporated. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and roll into a 1/4″ thickness. Cut the dough with a 2.5″ square or round cookie cutter. Gently re-roll the dough scraps and repeat the process. You should have anywhere between 12-18 cookies.
Place half of the cut-out cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a smaller cookie cutter (preferably 1″), such as a gingerbread man, star, or Christmas tree, cut out the center of the other half of the remaining cookies. (You may reserve the cut-outs and bake at a later time, if desired.) Transfer the cookies with the cut-outs to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until the cookies are set, about 10-12 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool. Then, carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to continue cooling. Once completely cooled, spread 1/2 tsp jam on one side of the whole cookie. Place the cookie with the cut-out over the jam cookie and gently press. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.