School lunches were always the best, don’t you think?
Looking back, my school lunches were always sickeningly unhealthy but oh-so delicious.
I mean, Lunchables? Really? Those can’t be nutritious. But those doughy, cardboard pizzas? THE DIGGITY TO MY DOG. So good.
I remember getting SOEXCITED to get our elementary school’s printable monthly lunch schedule. I’d hang it up on the fridge and check off each day I wanted to buy a school lunch. My favorites included: French toast sticks, cheesy bread sticks, teriyaki beef nuggets, and French bread pizzas. And I always got a chocolate milk… because what’s the point of plain milk when chocolate is available?
I was a logical child.
When I got older, my sister began bringing home the printable menus and hung them on the fridge. One day, I was randomly reading the menu when I spotted a side dish–a jello snack–was denoted with an asterisk. I scanned the page to find out what it meant and, lo and behold, at the bottom: *contains pork products.
So basically, if I’m any kind of effed up, I blame it on the porky jello snacks my school fed us.
And in high school, I amped up the nutritious factor tenfold. I’m pretty sure that my entire freshman year I ate nothing but chicken caesar salads with extra dressing and a package of glazed chocolate doughnuts for lunch every day.
I can never look at a package of chocolate doughnuts the same way again.
However, no matter my age, I still enjoy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. How can you not?! They’re a total classic: simple but delicious, and you can expect amazing results every time.
It’s no surprise I like mine with green jelly, but if I’m feeling more “mainstream”, I’ll opt for grape. On wheat bread, with crusts, and chunky peanut butter. But I’m not picky or anything.
Since back to school is vastly approaching, I had to channel my inner child (more than usual) and make something every kid & adult alike would enjoy making and eating. Big shocker: peanut butter & jelly came to mind–specifically, a PBJ cookie since cookies are awesome.
This is actually proof that food bloggers do think alike, because literally the day before I was set do buy the ingredients to make some peanut butter & jelly cookies, Jocelyn made the SAME cookie I was going to make–with the same ingredients, too! Hers turned out amazing and I was so excited knowing that we are all on the same brainwave after all, despite our physical distance from one another
So I decided to put my deep dish pan to use and jazz up my original idea just a tad more–by making regular cookies deep dishified, and adding oatmeal for a fun twist. The result is a dense oatmeal cookie chock-full of Reese’s PB cups and Ghiradelli raspberry chocolate candies and a whole lotta classic PBJ flavor.
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 & 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter (I used THIS one for a fun change, but regular smooth PB works)
1 egg + 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, roughly chopped
1 pkg Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate & Raspberry squares, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Liberally grease a deep dish cookie pan (aka muffin top pan) with cooking spray. Grease it good! Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with a fork. Stir in the peanut butter, egg + yolk, and vanilla extract to combine. Lastly, slowly stir in the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Fold in the chopped candies.
3. Put a heaping 1/4 cup of dough into each cavity and gently press it into the cavity to fit. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes (mine took exactly 11) until edges are golden brown and center is mostly set. Cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before carefully removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Store leftovers airtight, at room temperature, up to 3 days.
**Note: You can certainly bake these as regular cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet for approx. 8-10 minutes or so until centers are just about set (they’ll continue to bake as they sit). Just rotate your pans halfway through baking time to ensure even cooking for both pans.**
Have a wonderful Wednesday!!