Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints...

I guess it's time to let the proverbial cat out of the bag - Jeff was officially offered, and has subsequently accepted, a new position within the company and we will be relocating to... North Carolina!

Yeah, I heard those gasps - talk about criss-crossing the states! Back to the East Coast once again. While we still have to get our house sold (*grumble* to the housing market!), our plan is to be transitioned down into the Charlotte area no later than June. Crazy, but what's life without some adventure? At least that's what I'll keep telling myself. Between now and June, Jeff will start this new job March 1st, which means he (or we, depending on timing) will be going back and forth for possibly weeks at a time getting familiar with the office and the area. I'm unsure as of yet how exactly this will affect the blog, but we'll do our best to keep it updated with all these new happenings!

This will hamper the Weekly Wednesday Treat day for quite awhile (sorry co-workers!), but we still have 2 more planned. Which, speaking of, brings us to this week's treat - Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints!

Peanut butter, of the creamy variety, was incorporated right with the butter, creating the beige dough for these cookies. I found it to be brilliant to work with - neither too dry nor too sticky, just the consistency you want for rolling into balls. After divvying the batch of dough into plump rounds, each was then jostled around in a shallow dish of sparkly granulated sugar to coat. Just over halfway through baking, the cookies are whisked out of the oven and boldly (but carefully as they are hot!) stabbed in the center to make room for the filling. The handle of a wooden spoon works well for this, as does a small melon baller - sure you could use your thumb as the name implies, but who wants to burn off their fingerprint?

The cookies will then need to go right back into the oven to finish baking through. Now, why not just wait until they are done? This way not only helps flatten and spread the cookies out slightly, but they are more malleable at this point and if you were to let them bake completely through, they will be too set, making them more brittle and harder to press that divot into each. You could make the hole before hand, but it will just fill in as they bake and you'd need to re-do it again anyway.

The options are endless as to what to dollop inside the cookie craters you made - as you can see, I used raspberry jam for half, but how could I resist spooning that hazelnut-rich Nutella into the rest? I couldn't!

Or, if you happen to be a fluffernutter fanatic, how about adding a scoop of the white billowy fluff right in the center? A note on the jam - right out the refrigerator it is fairly gelled and hard to work with - a zap in the microwave or in a small saucepan, set over low heat, will loosen the ruby fruit filling just enough to facilitated moving it into the cookies.


  1. Joe and Jeff,
    That's exciting news! Good luck to you with the move, the new job, etc. And good luck selling your house!!!

  2. Congratulations on the new job! Good luck with the move! We blog readers will love hearing about your relocation adventures.

  3. Congrats. I myself lived there, altho a long time ago. I have lots of fun info about the area if interested...

  4. So exciting! My parents are in Wilmington, best beaches on the Atlantic coast.


  5. Congratulations on the new job, move. I was hoping you'd be moving to the Triangle area when I saw you were moving to North Carolina. I moved here two years ago. I was hoping to invite you both over so that I could share some of your cooking in person. Ah well. You will enjoy the climate in this part of the country. We lived in Massachusetts for 20 years and were so happy to escape the snow. The state pretty much shuts down when a couple of inches of snow fall.

  6. Aw, man, so close, and yet still 2 hours away!! Welcome to the Tar Heel state, Joe & Jeff! I too was hoping you were going to say you might be moving near the Triangle when you mentioned NC!! I have dreams of baking with Joe & the pups! Congrats to you both on the exciting news. Charlotte is a great area with lots to do.
    Joanie from CLBB

  7. Kudos guys!! Minnesnowta will miss you. But NC is really a neat area. You'll be fine no matter where you settle. Remember, home is where your "things" are! Trust me, I've relocated many times with young kids.

    You two would be a refreshing welcome to any neighborhood!


  8. Ahhh..the Outer Banks on the east, and the mountains, BBQ country and Asheville in the north & west. Having lived in Maryland, you may be familiar with some of it. You'll miss your family, I'm sure. Good luck!

  9. Oh my goodness--that is a big move! I don't know how you guys do it...you are very positive and supportive, but I would be a mess, lol. Congrats to Jeff and we will miss you both here in MN!!

    Those cookies sound fabulous! I love the idea of getting them to set in the correct shape by molding them 1/2 way through cooking...very smart. Thanks for sharing it!


  10. We are in the same boat right now--getting the house on the market ASAP, selling hopefully soon and moving in June, from Kansas to my husband's home state-Utah. We are excited to move back home, but are sad to leave and I am SOOOOO not enjoying dejunking, packing, cleaning and trying to get this house ready to sell, all the while four boys are still here daily doing their thing! Sigh.
    Best of luck to you and I hope everything goes great for you guys!
    And yum to the cookies!

  11. CONGRATS To Jeff on the new job (since he never updates his blog....ahem)....

    Don't envy you the move, but NC is wonderful....can't wait to hear about your adventures.

    How are the pups??
    Suz in VA

  12. I'm sorry to hear you are leaving Minnesota. Even though I don't "know" you, it was nice to know you were in the same city. I hope you can keep up the blog. I look forward to it every day. Good luck to both of you!

  13. Joe and Jeff,
    Congratulations on landing the new job! I feel you pain with moving. We currently live in Arizona(way down south of Tucson) and will also be relocating to the south, Georgia, nlt mid-June! Funny how so many people in this small world have so much in common!:)

  14. Another exciting move. I am a long time reader - and since I live in Iowa have enjoyed knowing what you were doing with seasonal produce and our midwest products. I am sure it will be great in the new venue.

  15. Congratulations to both of you. North Carolina is beautiful and I know you are going to love it!
    Oh- the options you will have there! You can garden mostly year round- and the farmers markets don't shut down for winter. Mmmm- good luck with the move and the house sale- I hope it goes smoothly for you.

  16. Thanks! This should be an interesting ride! Now, we just need to get this darn house sold finally!

  17. Congratulations to Jeff! A new start. Hope you sell the house. We are going to try again to sell ours soon. Hope to be able to move by the end of June. We will be in boxes, like you, this summer.

    Hope you'll have a chance to update the blog.

  18. Congratulations on the new position, Jeff! It's so nice to read that you're coming down this way, I'm just north of Greensboro, a couple of hours from Charlotte. I'd love to have y'all up for dinner! I can't get enough of your blog, and I'd love to meet you in person :)

  19. Hockamama - We are heading back over that way next week. I can't wait to start browsing around the area to see what it has to offer!