When I was a child, I asked my mom what her favorite season was, and she told me that it was fall. I was a little insulted, assuming that it was because my brother and I went back to school in fall, but now that I’ve moved to the Midwest (and grown up and realized that not everything is directly related to me), I better understand her reasons. Fall in the Midwest (which is also where my mom grew up) can be truly spectacular.
I’m a little sad that October is already drawing to a close and that we seem to be heading past the peak of fall colors here in Ann Arbor, but what a month it has been! Highlights included:
- A photo session for Phoebe (thanks to Sally+Rebecca Photography)
- A sightseeing flight over Ann Arbor (thanks to Solo Aviation)
- A trip to Wasem Fruit Farm to pick apples
- Admiring a cluster of maple trees in a nearby park on our daily walks with Phoebe
- An afternoon spent taking pictures on campus
And last but not least*, these amazeballs ginger spice peanut butter cookies!
I started testing and tweaking the recipe for these ginger spice peanut butter cookies in August, after realizing that, despite my fondness for spreading peanut butter on gingersnaps, I had never tried combining the two into one recipe. The flavor of the first batch was fantastic but they were the teensiest bit on the dry side when served at room temperature, so I played around with the amounts of various ingredients; in the end, swapping out the water for an equal amount of applesauce seemed to do the trick.
These cookies are like a cross between a gingersnap and a peanut butter cookie: they’ve got the soft, chewy texture of a peanut butter cookie with the warm, inviting spiciness of a gingersnap. As if the combination of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves weren’t already enough to evoke thoughts of fall, the addition of brightly-colored Reese’s Pieces makes these cookies the perfect recipe for any Halloween parties you may be attending! Of course, I’ve been baking these since the dog days of summer, when it was still 90 degrees and humid outside, so I can assure you that they’re delicious and well-received at any time of year.
What are you most looking forward to in November?
*I also submitted the prospectus for my dissertation this month (yay!), but there was no pretty picture to accompany it, so it got booted off the list of highlights and placed here in a footnote.
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup margarine
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple sauce
- 1 1/4 cups Reese’s Pieces or peanut butter chips, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir until combined.
- In a separate bowl (or in the bowl of a mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the beaten eggs and mix until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Stir in the molasses, peanut butter, and applesauce. Gently fold in 1 cup Reese’s Pieces by hand, setting aside 1/4 cup.
- Scoop the dough into balls, approximately 2 tablespoons each. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Press the remaining Reese’s Pieces on top of the cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake! The cookies should still look slightly underdone when you remove them from the oven, since they will continue to bake for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
- I recommend placing a layer of wax or parchment paper between the layers of cookies when storing them. Without it, the cookies will begin to stick to each other.
- I've found that these cookies are actually better the day after baking than on the day of, since they seem to get a little bit moister and chewier.
These are such beautiful cookies! I never would have thought to combine peanut butter with fall spices. I loved looking at all of your fall highlights. So pretty!
Thanks! The combination came about a few years ago when I decided to spiff up a store-bought gingersnap with some peanut butter, and I was instantly smitten! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos 🙂
Jessica @ Sweetest Menu says
Wow! What beautiful cookies! Love those gorgeous fall flavours and you can never ever go wrong with peanut butter chips in my book!
Thank you! I’m pretty sure I developed a mild addiction to Reese’s Pieces in the process of testing this recipe…
Looks like a great fall! I love the idea to combine ginger with peanut butter, two of my favorite things, and the result looks – as you say – amazeballs! The texture looks so delicious. By the way, that’s one looong tongue on your puppy.
Thanks! And yes, I completely agree that Phoebe seems to have an oversized tongue 😛
Phoebe and the leaves are beautiful, and I can almost smell the the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and peanut butter!
It really is an intoxicating scent! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Paige | Peach & Plenty says
I loved everything about this post. These cookies look amazing and all the Fall pictures of Ann Arbor made me so happy! I LOVE apple picking at Wasem’s. One of the things I miss most about living there. I guess I’ll just have to bake these delicious looking cookies instead!
Visiting local fruit orchards is probably one of my favorite things to do in Ann Arbor, so I’m sure I’ll miss it too once I leave the area. These cookies will definitely help make up for it, though! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the photos!
Edible Reflections says
Phoebe looks like she’s enjoying the Fall. Love all the pictures and the cookies look perfect for the season.
Phoebe is very much enjoying fall, even though she doesn’t get to have any of these cookies. Thanks for stopping by!
The hungry homemaker says
I love fall so much! So many beautiful colours. Those cookies look to die for!
Me too! I wish the colors would stick around longer, but perhaps their fleeting nature makes us appreciate them even more 🙂
sweetteasweetie (@SweetTSweetie) says
Those brightly colored leaves are just so gorgeous!
Yes, we’ve been lucky to have had such beautiful colors this year! The leaves won’t be around much longer, so I’m glad to have the photos.
Phoebe is adorable! 🙂 Love your October highlights, and the fall colours are just stunning! Matches perfectly with these cookies too! 🙂 N x
I’m glad you enjoyed the highlights – and that you think Phoebe is cute! I think so too, but I’m obviously biased 😉
The warm comforting goodness of a peanut butter cookie but with the flavor of a gingersnap?? This sounds like my heaven! And submitting the prospectus definitely deserves another cookie…you’re on the road to the end now! Well sorta. There is that whole writing the actual dissertation. But that’s a piece of cake…or a cookie. 🙂
Thanks! I have a feeling that the dissertation is going to require many pieces of cake AND many cookies over the course of the next few years 😛
Your fall photographs are simply beautiful. And, I love the cookies as well. I must admit that this fall, I’m most looking forward to my trip to Europe (and I’ll be missing most of the typical, fall things for some dreary weather). BUT, I’m also looking forward to Thanksgiving, and cooking cozy meals. 🙂 Happy FF, and have a fabulous weekend! 😀
Thanks so much, Kaila! Wow, a trip to Europe – I hope you’ll be posting some photos so we can all live vicariously through you 🙂
I will! I can’t wait. 🙂
Lovely photos and delicious cookies! 😀
Thank you! And they taste even better than they look!
Patty K says
Looks like you had an enviable and amazing October! With the addition of the peanut butter, these cookies could give this year’s gingerbread men a run for their money 😉 Congrats on the submission! Will you need to defend?
These cookies definitely give gingerbread cookies some serious competition…especially since these don’t require any rolling or cutting! Thankfully, there is no official defense of the prospectus in my program, so I’m all set to dive into research 🙂
Julie is Hostess At Heart says
Oh I just love what you have done here! My favorite cake is a spice cake with peanut butter frosting. Here you’ve done it in a cookie! I never thought of putting PB on ginger snaps!
Thanks! Spice cake with peanut butter frosting sounds marvelous – I’m off to go check it out on your blog now…
Arl's World says
Your cookie recipe looks and sounds delicious! I love all the beautiful pictures of fall foliage.
Thank you! I’m sad to see the trees are losing their leaves now, but at least I can still have the photos 🙂
Wow Great cookies for these fall day!
Thank you! I completely agree!
Looks like I know what I’ll be making this weekend! thanks for sharing this amazing recipe 🙂
You’re very welcome, and thanks for stopping by! Let me know what you think if you try them.
I love the flavor of ginger in ginger cookies. My son is allergic to nuts. What can I use instead of peanut butter?
Hmm, that’s a tricky allergy for this recipe! The original ginger cookies don’t have any peanuts (follow the Allrecipes link on the recipe card), but if you wanted to try something else, sunflower butter could possibly work as a substitute. I haven’t tried doing it, but I imagine the consistency is similar enough that the recipe would still work.
The Chunky Chef says
Ooooooh peanut butter AND gingersnap flavors… count me in!!
Thanks! I’m glad these caught your eye!
Congrats on your dissertation! I miss my student days. I got through by baking cookies, too. These look fabulous!
Thanks! I’m sure someday I’ll miss my time as a student as well, but right now it seems like it will never end! Cookies definitely help, though 🙂
shashi at runninsrilankan says
Your pictures of your walk through the park are stunning – what lovely colors – we didn’t have much color here in Atlanta this year – leaves kinda went from green to a pugly (pretty ugly) brownish yellow and fell off – or rather were knocked of by all the rain and wind so I thoroughly enjoyed your fall foliage! And – wow – ginger with peanut butter sounds amazing!
Yes, we were lucky to have such gorgeous colors this year (and not a lot of rain to plaster all the leaves to ground)! Thanks so much for stopping by!