To give her cookies holiday sparkle, Sunny Anderson rolls them in turbinado sugar, a large-grained sugar with a mild molasses flavor. As the cookies cool, the sugar forms a crisp crackly outer layer on the cookie, too.
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup turbinado or raw cane sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw
- Chopped roasted peanuts, optional
- Food coloring, optional
- 1/3 cup strawberry preserves
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar, and blend on medium-high speed until creamy. Turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, pushing everything back towards the center. Then add the salt, vanilla and egg, and blend until combined. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the flour in 1/2-cup intervals. Between each addition be sure to completely blend in all the flour and scrape the sides as before. Once completely combined, scrape the dough out of the mixer, add to a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and, using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough and roll into a ball between your hands. Then roll the formed ball in the turbinado sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat for the rest of the balls, making sure to separate them on the sheet by about 1 inch. Try chopping roasted peanuts and adding them to the sugar before rolling out all the balls or add a drop of food coloring to the sugar to make the cookies even more festive!
Once all the balls are on the baking sheet, make an indentation in the center of each using the rounded end of a wooden spoon, the back of a rounded teaspoon or your good old-fashioned thumb. Fill the center of each with about 1/2 teaspoon strawberry preserves. Bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack. Let cool before serving.
From Food Network Kitchens; after further testing and to ensure the best results this recipe has been altered from what was in the actual episode.