After sampling these tender cookies in a specialty store, I knew I had to duplicate them. My version has lots of toffee bits and butterscotch chips. I give away dozens as home-baked gifts. —Sandra McKenzie, Braham, MN
My sons and grandsons manage our ranch...and they always seem to have one hand in the cookie jar—especially when I bake these crunchy morsels! Away from the kitchen, I enjoy my large garden and our fast-growing family.
From Castle Rock, Colorado, Connie Colgan sent this yummy recipe. "It's my husband's favorite," she says, "but I hope your experts can lighten it up for me." See the recipe for Makeover Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies to see how we trimmed down these crunchy bites.
These are the perfect cookies when cooking for a crowd because the mix can be prepared and stored for months. Also, you can bake a couple batches of cookies at a time and freeze. —Helen Woronik, Salem, Connecticut
Some of my sisters and I get together for a weekend during the holidays to do nothing but bake cookies. These cookies always make an appearance in the goody baskets that we give as gifts. —Nancy Ross, Alvordton, Ohio
People eagerly anticipate these tasty cookies as part of our "season's eatings" each year. The surprise cherry center surrounded by a fluffy cookie makes this treat especially fun. With the chocolate coating, they're almost like candy—and always the first to go!
To reduce the fat, they replaced the shortening with about half the amount of butter, substituted two egg whites for one of the eggs and used only half the peanut butter, substituting the reduced-fat variety. They also cut the amount of chocolate chips in half and switched to miniature chips so they would be better distributed in the dough. They cut back on the amount of sugar in the original recipe, too. And finally, they added a bit of cornstarch to keep the cookie's melt-in-your-mouth texture.
This recipe came about by accident when I was making both my husband's favorite peanut butter cookies and my favorite chocolate cookies. I had two small portions of dough left over and decided to combine them into one flavor-filled cookie.