If this dessert were a kid on the playground it would the little one flying headfirst down the slide, screaming “LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!”. It feels a little dangerous, it definitely makes you smile, and it will not quit until it has your attention.
So here we are.
I feel like you’re already headed to the kitchen and that’s the right instinct.
Fresh strawberries are baked into a thick, sweetened + spiced jam, topped with actual peanut butter cookie dough, and baked together into what can only be described as the most ridiculous pb + j situation there is.
It’s the sort of dessert I hope you get to present to your pals on the backporch this weekend with a resounding “Look what I can do!” Everyone applauds and the world, for a moment, is healed – that’s my dream for you and us.
Can I show you how this comes together?
We’re bringing two recipes together for this cobbler. We’re making a small batch of strawberry pie filling and a batch of soft peanut butter cookies. Here’s what we’ll need:
• fresh strawberries, washed and sliced in halves and quarters
• lemon juice and granulated sugar to draw out the moisture of the strawberries
• warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg along with a dash of salt
• Instant (Minute) Tapioca will be our thickener for the strawberry filly. Tapioca is the best thickener for strawberries – it holds up to all the juice the strawberries release. If you don’t have tapioca, you can substitute cornstarch though you’ll just have a juicier cobbler.
• peanut butter (the Skippy kind with oil in it make for the chewiest cookies)
• mostly brown sugar with a bit of granulated sugar, for flavor and chewy texture
• butter and an egg
• flour and leavening
• peanut butter chips (optional but wow they’re my favorite) and chopped salted peanuts (also optional but I love the crunch)
First we’ll make the cookies!
You can totally do this by hand but I’m using electric hand beaters.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. That’s the start – set aside.
In another medium bowl cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. The mixture will fluff to a pale tan color but still be a bit grainy from the sugar. That’s fine.
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract to an even more pale color of tan and aerated.
Add the dry ingredients and, on low speed, combine the dough.
I stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to find any hidden dry pockets.
Add peanut butter chips if you’re using them.
Also… if you go for semi-sweet chocolate chips instead, not a thing is wrong with that!
Spoon the dough onto waxed paper, roll into a big boy log and refrigerate while the strawberry filling comes together.
The strawberry filling comes together very simply.
Combined sliced strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and spices in a town. Toss to combine.
Stir in the instant tapioca (or cornstarch) and melted butter until evenly mixed. The tapioca is remain grainy but soften and absorb the juice of the strawberries as it bakes.
Spoon strawberry and all of it’s juice into a 8×8 or 9×9 – inch square baking pan. Heck, you could absolutely use a round baking pan, too – just make sure the sides are about 3-inches high so nothing boils over.
Bake the strawberries for 18 or so minutes so give them a head start to softening.
Bring the par-baked strawberries out of the oven and potion cookies on top. Oooooh yes yes yes. This is when things start to feel real.
My cookies were just over 2-inches across and1/2-inch thick. Roll in crushed peanuts and smash into a # using a fork.
Set the cookies up side-by-side on top of the baked strawberries and return the pan to the oven to bake the cookies for 15 minutes or so.
The cookies will bake to soft and the strawberry juice will cook around them, amen.
If you used cornstarch you may may find that the juices cooked up the sides of the cookies a bit. Guess what? Still delicious.
Truly the only thing that will make this better is vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream, or coconut cream – something creamy that will melt into the cooked jammy strawberries.
LOOK WHAT WE CAN DO!
This is absolutely worth flailing our arms and cartwheeling and flying down a slide about.
Photos with my dear Jon Melendez.Print
- For the Cookies:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter (Skippy kind, not natural)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup peanut butter chips
- 3/4 cup roasted salted chopped peanuts
- For the Cobbler:
- 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced into bite-size chunks (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons minute tapioca*
- To make the cookies dough in a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a medium bowl using an electric hand mixer, cream together peanut butter, butter, and sugars until well combined, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing on low speed until just combined.
- Fold in the peanut butter chips.
- Spoon dough onto a large sheet of waxed paper and roll into a log. Refrigerate while you combine the strawberry mixture.
- To make the strawberry filling, first place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl toss together the sliced strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and spices. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes until some juices develop in the bottom of the bowl. Toss in the melted butter and the instant tapioca. Stir to combine. The tapioca will look coarse within the mixture. It will dissolve in the oven.
- Spoon the strawberry mixture into a baking dish. Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the strawberries begin to breakdown and release their juices. Remove from the oven and stir.
- Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and scoop cookies into three tablespoon mounds. Roll in chopped peanuts and use a for to make a # pattern.
- Place cookies atop the cooked strawberries. Place in the oven and allow to bake until cookies are lightly puffed and cooked through, 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Best enjoyed with ice cream.
* You can substitute cornstarch for Instant Tapioca though your filling will be more juicy! That’s alright – still delicious!