We all know that the #1 flavor combination in all the world is peanut butter and chocolate. Don't even try to debate me on this fact - you'd be wrong. Dead wrong. However, did you know that the #2 flavor combination is something almost exclusive to the fall season? That's right: candy corn and peanuts.
Get a big bag of candy corn, then get a big jar of salted peanuts and mix them all up in a bowl. Take that bowl, sit in front of the TV and see just how long the snack inside lasts. It's the perfect salty-sweet combination that, every year, Eric and I try to wait until closer to Halloween to bust out, but this year we gave in around mid September. We're weak - we know it.
When daydreaming about my next baking project, Eric suggested I should try and do something with candy corn. Almost instantly, I knew the only acceptable kind of cookie in which to use the candy corn would be a soft, chewy, slightly crunchy peanut-butter cookie.
Before I even started this project, I knew I'd be challenged working with ultra-sugary candy corn. If you've ever baked with marshmallows in batter, you know they melt fairly quickly while baking, resulting in a runny, sticky pocket of sugar goo - it's delicious. I was pretty sure candy corn would melt in the same way, so I decided I would add some candy corn pieces to the batter and then press in a few more pieces in the last minute of baking so they would hold their shape and initial texture.
This was the right idea. These cookies were soft and chewy with little pockets of gooey candy-corn sweetness inside. I used crunchy peanut butter and added some more chopped peanuts for a little added crunch to balance the softness.
Give these little treasures away at trick-or-treat and I guarantee you'll be the most popular house on the block (and totally make up for any previous mishaps with giving away pennies, apples or the dreaded black licorice).
Peanut Butter Candy Corn Cookies
½ cup white granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup candy corn + more for topping
1/8 cup chopped peanuts + more for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. Set aside.
Whip the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy. Then, beat in peanut butter. Add in egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat this dry mixture into the peanut-butter mixture little by little, until just combined.
Fold in ½ cup of candy corn to the batter. Spoon out cookie dough and form into balls 1”-1.5” in diameter and place on prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. In last minute or two of baking, sprinkle cookies with extra chopped peanuts and lightly press 2-3 pieces of candy corn to the tops of each cookie. Allow to finish baking, then place cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.