Snacktime treat: PB&J cookies
The only thing better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a PB&J cookie
Peanut butter & jelly cookies: The great thing about icebox cookies like these is that they're ready to go whenever you want -- the ultimate quick treat. (Emma Christensen/TMS)
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 F.
1. By hand or in a mixer on medium-speed, mix the two sugars together. Work in the peanut butter and butter until they form a smooth batter. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, baking soda and salt. Add the flour all at once and mix just until you see no more dry flour.
2. Turn out the cookie dough on a piece of wax paper and shape it into a rectangle. Cover with another piece of wax paper and roll out the cookie dough to form a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. It's OK if the edges are slightly rounded, but try to keep that rectangle shape as best you can.
3. Peel off the top sheet of wax paper. Using a pizza cutter or a bench scraper, cut the dough into four long strips down the length of the rectangle. Cover again with wax paper, transfer the dough to a cookie sheet, and freeze for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the dough from the freezer and spread 1/3 cup of the jelly on one of the strips of dough. Place a second strip on top with the jelly sandwiched between. Continue layering until you've formed a long rectangle with four layers of peanut butter cookie dough and three layers of jelly. Trim the edges. Wrap this first in wax paper and then in plastic. Freeze for at least two hours or preferably overnight. (Or for as long as three months.)
5. Take the cookie dough out of the freezer and unwrap it on a cutting board. Turn the block on its side so the layers are perpendicular to the cutting surface. This helps keep the layers separate instead of compacting them. Use a serrated knife to slice cookies 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick.
6. It helps to transfer the cookies from the cutting board to the cookie sheet with a thin spatula, a bench scraper or even the flat edge of your knife. If the layers slide apart a little, just nudge them back into shape on the cookie sheet. Arrange them on a cookie sheet two inches apart. Wrap the remaining dough back up and return it to the freezer.
7. Bake 15-18 minutes until the edges of the cookies just start to turn brown (if you only froze your cookies for a few hours, check them after 12 minutes). Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer them to a cooling rack with a spatula.
Emma Christensen is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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