Indulge your peanut cravings

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Peanuts are a beloved snack that are as healthy as they are tasty. Despite their somewhat misleading name, peanuts actually are legumes and grow beneath the ground. Legumes are edible seeds enclosed in pods, whereas true nuts grow on trees.

Regardless of their botanical classification, peanuts are enjoyed in many different recipes, both savory and sweet. However, peanuts and peanut butter can be truly delicious when incorporated into desserts. Such is the case when peanut flavoring becomes the basis for treats. In this recipe for “Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies” from “A Decade of Cooking the Costco Way” (Costco Wholesale Corporation), edited by Tim Talevich, the popular sandwich pairing of PB&J puts a flavorful spin on cookies.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Makes 5 dozen

1 cup sugar, plus extra for coating dough

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup butter flavor shortening, such as Crisco

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup strawberry jelly, or any jam, jelly or preserves

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, shortening, and peanut butter. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat until blended.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using the back of a teaspoon, make a rounded indentation in the top of each cookie. Fill each with about 1⁄2 teaspoon jelly. Bake an additional 2 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

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