Peanut Meltaway Cookies are melt-in-your-mouth cookies prepared with peanut butter and topped with a chocolate peanut butter ganache. Doesn’t that sound delicious!? The base has a shortbread, crumbly-like texture that pairs extraordinarily well with the creaminess of the smooth ganache dollop. These are simply irresistible!
The secret to meltaway cookies is cornstarch and this is these Peanut Meltaway Cookies are the second in this series to incorporate the melting sensation and texture of cornstarch. I’m assuming you read my Melting Moment Logs recipe? I wanted to showcase the versatility of melting cookies with a peanut butter version. But, why stop at peanut butter when you can also add peanut butter and chocolate ganache topping?
Trust me, if you’re waiting until the last minute to start your holiday baking, or if you’re looking for a great holiday-inspired cookie to bring to a potluck or to give a friend or neighbour as a gift, then you should really look no further! Now that Thanksgiving is out of the way for our neighbours to the south, Christmastime baking will be in full swing!
I had scribbled this recipe on a piece of paper at some point. I remember finding it printed in one of those subway platform magazines. After I prepared the recipe and shared it with you, Dear Reader, I learned that it was a recipe taken directly from another food blog called Saving Room for Dessert. So, if you’d like to see the original recipe, head on over and pay Tricia a visit!
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For the past 5 years, including this one, I am questioned many times about what my favourite cookie of the 24 Cookies of Christmas series might be – even before I finish the series! I already wrote in a previous post that the Melting Moment Logs were very high on my list of favourites. But, I think this peanut butter version might have taken its place. It’s the ganache that puts this one over the top for me. It’s just so good!
Every year, I bake hundreds and hundreds of cookies starting in late summer. And, every year, I pack them up and give them away. Very rarely does a cookie not leave our house. But, these Peanut Meltaway Cookies stayed put right in our kitchen! We both love them! In fact, I dare you to try one or two of these with a hot cup of coffee or tea! I’ve eaten them for breakfast and I’m not the least bit ashamed of it either!
LORD BYRON’S 24 COOKIES OF CHRISTMAS – VOLUME 5
I’m so excited about this year’s cookie countdown! This is the fifth consecutive year; can you believe that? Each of the previous years has included 24 cookies and this year will not be any different. I’ll share a new Christmas cookie recipe each and every single day for the next 24 days – even on Saturday and Sunday!
You might be asking yourself, how many Christmas cookie recipes could one possibly have or need? Well, I say you can never have too much of a good thing. And, I love having lots of choices. Who wants to bake the same holiday cookies year after year?
So, welcome, Dear Reader, to Volume 5 of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas! Fresh off of my 12 Edible Wreaths of Christmas and my 12 Bars and Squares of Christmas series, I’m ready to plow through the next 24 days with you!
You really don’t want to miss one of these recipes, so if you have not yet subscribed to Lord Byron’s Kitchen, I encourage you to do so. That way, a new recipe will be emailed to you every day. You won’t have to bother to come looking for it! Like in previous holiday baking countdowns, I like to mix up the recipes in the series so that there is something for everyone. Are you ready!!??
Looking For More Christmas Confections?
Lord Byron’s Kitchen has more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth! Click on the links below to see a countdown series of holiday recipes from that category!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
To Make the Base of the Cookie:
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature! To be perfectly honest, I have made these with both salted and unsalted butter and there’s no difference in taste or appearance once all is said and done. Use what you have on hand.
- Peanut Butter – Use smooth peanut butter or the chunky kind with pieces of peanuts in it. I have not tested this recipe with natural peanut butter and to be frank, I don’t think natural peanut butter will work without some adjustments.
- Confectioner’s Sugar – This superfine sugar is sometimes called powdered sugar.
- Vanilla Extract – Probably the most common extract and the most common flavouring used in cakes and cookies.
- Flour – No need for anything special. Just use regular all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of flour.
- Cornstarch – When added to cake, cookie and shortbread recipes, cornstarch helps create a crumbly and tender dessert-like texture. In this case, it creates a melting texture too.
- Salt – This is a common ingredient in baking and cooking. In baking it helps to enhance and balance sweetness.
To Make the Ganache Topping:
- Chocolate Chips – I use chocolate chips a lot in my recipes, and I change up the type depending on how I feel. Unless the recipe states otherwise, you can use milk, semi-sweet, or dark chips too. I used semi-sweet chocolate here.
- Milk – When a baking recipe requires milk, I always use whole milk, unless otherwise stated.
- Peanut Butter – Unlike with the cookie base where you can use smooth or chunky peanut butter, I would only ever suggest smooth peanut butter for the ganache. It’s supposed to be a smooth and creamy topping, so avoid the chunky peanut butter here.
- Confectioner’s Sugar
LET’S TALK PEANUT BUTTER!
Before you are tempted to send me an email or a comment knocking my choice of peanut butter that is not natural and organic, hear me out! This recipe will not work with natural peanut butter. I repeat, this recipe will not work with natural peanut butter. There, I said it. Now, if you go ahead and make this recipe using natural peanut butter and it comes out a big, wet mess, you cannot blame me.
John.e uses only natural peanut butter, but I do not. I do not like it at all. Yes, it’s healthier and better for me, but I’d rather not eat it at all if I have to choose the natural stuff. I grew up on Kraft or Jiffy peanut butter and it’s the only peanut butter I ever use.
For these cookies, you have the choice of smooth peanut butter or crunchy. But, you do not have a choice between all-natural and sugar-laden, mass-produced stuff. The cookies will not hold together properly. Mostly, it certainly will not taste right. If you are completely against using non-natural peanut butter, as harsh as it may sound, this recipe is most certainly not for you.
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WHAT IS CORNSTARCH?
Cornstarch is one of the most versatile starches. It is extracted from the starchy endosperm of corn and ends up being a white, powdery substance that is virtually without any flavour at all. It is a terrific ingredient for thickening puddings, soups and pie fillings, and is also used in many baked good recipes. When added to cake, cookie and shortbread recipes, cornstarch helps create a crumbly and tender dessert-like texture.
Commercially, cornstarch is often used as an anti-caking agent. When added to packaged goods like shredded cheese, cornstarch coats the cheese and helps to absorb moisture that would otherwise cause spoiling. This absorption process also helps prevent food from clumping over time. Additionally, it is used when making sugars, such as corn syrup.
HOW TO MAKE PEANUT MELTAWAY COOKIES
First, let’s start by preparing the base of the cookie. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and the peanut butter until well combined and creamy. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat to incorporate. Add the vanilla extract and beat into the peanut butter mixture; be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.
Next, measure in the flour, cornstarch, and salt. (Only add the salt if you used unsalted butter!) On low speed, beat to incorporate and increase speed to medium until well mixed. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the dough into a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside. Portion the dough into one-tablespoon amounts. Roll the dough into balls and set the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Use a small water glass to gently press the balls flat to about just over ¼ inch thick. (If the glass sticks to the dough, dip the bottom of the glass into plain flour and gently tap off the excess. Depending on how warm your kitchen might be, you may need to do this to flatten each cookie.)
Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned on the outer edges. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 1 minute before transferring to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
PREPARING THE GANACHE
Once the cookies are completely cool, it’s time to prepare and apply the ganache topping. To do so, add the chocolate, milk, and peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl. In 30-second increments on high speed, melt the ingredients together until smooth. Be sure to stir well between each increment. Once the chocolate and peanut butter mixture is completely smooth, add the confectioner’s sugar and stir well to incorporate.
Transfer the ganache to a Ziploc bag. Use scissors to cut a small tip from one lower corner of the bag. Gently squeeze the chocolate mixture onto each cookie to form a dollop right in the center. The chocolate mixture might seem thin, but it will harden. Once done, you can use the fat end of a chopstick or the handle of a wooden mixing spoon to push down any peaks in the ganache.
Dust the finished cookies with confectioner’s sugar, if desired. Allow cookies to rest until the ganache has set – about an hour or so. Once cool, stack them in a cookie tin and keep them at room temperature.
Lord Byron’s Annual Christmas Cookie Series
Did you know that Lord Byron’s Kitchen has been sharing a 24 Cookies of Christmas Series for the past several years? Click on the links below to see all of the recipes from each series on one page!
STORING, PACKAGING, & FREEZING
When it comes to most cookies, they taste best at room temperature, but they don’t hold up well to being left out on your countertop for long periods of time. Cookies will stay fresh in a cookie jar or food-safe container with a lid for 3-5 days if left to sit on your kitchen countertop. You can store them in a food-safe container in your fridge. When you want one, two, or half a dozen, take them out of the container and place them in a single layer on a plate. Let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes and they’re ready!
If you plan to freeze your Peanut Meltaway Cookies, you certainly can! Once completely cooled, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! You’ll want to ensure a very tight-fitting lid too. I use these quite often when freezing baked goods. I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. If you plan to give previously frozen cookies as a gift, I would lay them out on a wire cooling rack to thaw completely. If packaging, wait until the condensation has evaporated. Once thawed, pile into cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon, or stack in a cookie tin/box.
If I have not answered all of your questions in the text above, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! You can contact me by sending me a message in the comments section further down the page. I will try my best to answer as soon as possible! You might reach me even faster by following me on Facebook and sending me a private message. Scroll down to follow me and never miss another recipe!
Finally, as I stated previously, every day I will be posting a new recipe. If you miss one, don’t fret. You can find my entire collection of Christmas Recipes right here! There are over 200 Christmas recipes and counting. There’s something for everyone! Cheers!
Do You Like This Recipe?
You should consider trying these other delicious recipes too!
Peanut Meltaway Cookies
For the Cookie Base:
- 10 tablespoons softened butter (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (do not add the salt if you use salted butter)
For the Ganache Topping:
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and the peanut butter until well combined and creamy.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat to incorporate.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat into the peanut butter mixture; be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt. On low speed, beat to incorporate and increase speed to medium until well mixed.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape the dough into a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Portion the dough into one-tablespoon amounts.
- Roll the dough into balls and set the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Use a small water glass to gently press the balls flat to about just over ¼ inch thick. (If the glass sticks to the dough, dip the bottom of the glass into plain flour and gently tap off the excess. Depending on how warm your kitchen might be, you may need to do this to flatten each cookie.)
- Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned on the outer edges.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 1 minute before transferring to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, it’s time to prepare and apply the ganache topping. To do so, add the chocolate, milk, and peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl. In 30 second increments on high speed, melt the ingredients together until smooth. Be sure to stir well between each increment.
- Once the chocolate and peanut butter mixture is completely smooth, add the confectioner’s sugar and stir well to incorporate.
- Transfer the ganache to a Ziploc bag. Use scissors to cut a small tip from one lower corner of the bag.
- Gently squeeze the chocolate mixture onto each cookie to form a dollop right in the center. The chocolate mixture might seem thin, but it will harden.
- Once done, you can use the fat end of a chopstick or the handle of a wooden mixing spoon to push down any peaks in the ganache.
- Dust the finished cookies with confectioner’s sugar, if desired. Allow cookies to rest until ganache has set – about an hour or so. Once cool, stack them in a cookie tin and keep them at room temperature.
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