Every time I toss a handful of peanuts in my mouth I feel a stab of guilt when I think of people with peanut allergies. Whenever I develop a recipe with peanut butter in it, I feel like I am concocting some poisonous witch’s brew. It is so strange that something that is such a staple in the American diet can be lethal to such a large percentage of the population. I apologize up front about these cookies to any of you who have peanut allergies. Though I have not tried it, I imagine you can easily replace the peanut butter with almond butter, and I am sure it would still be delicious.
Besides, the main point of these cookies is the fact that the centers ooze with caramel, thanks to the wonderful creators of Dove chocolate. When my kids and I bought this bag of Dove Caramel Promises last week, I thought they were too good to eat uncaringly, and decided I should do something more with them. Naturally, my first thought was to wrap them in something more sugary and fattening, like a cookie. As I started baking, though, I had this rash idea that I should try to make them slightly healthy, if that were possible. So instead of white flour, I used whole wheat pastry flour, and instead of all sugar, I used half sugar, and half honey.
Caramel Surprise Peanut Butter Cookies
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
granulated sugar (for rolling)
12 Dove Caramel Surprises candies, or some other similar candy, unwrapped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, cream together peanut butter and butter. Add in honey and brown sugar and cream until light and smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Incorporate vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add to peanut butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
3. Place about 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. With a small ice cream scoop, scoop out dough and drop in sugar. Press a candy into the center, and top with another scoop of the cookie dough. Cover dough with sugar, and press down on the dough to seal in the cookie. Place on prepared cookie sheet and repeat with remaining cookies. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
4. Bake at 350 degrees (180 Celsius) for 13 minutes, pull out, and gently press dough down with a fork. Continue baking for 3 more minutes, or until the edges just begin to turn a golden brown. Let rest in pan to cool slightly, and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.