Stefanie’s Peanut Butter Apple Cookies (a.k.a. the “After School Special”)

My cousin Stefanie is amazing. When she’s not working as a research chemist in the cosmetic industry creating new cosmetic formulations or products, she’s creating new and unique recipes. One of her favorite things to do is bake, and her incredible treats are features at any of our family get-togethers. Recently I spoke to her and asked her to create something to share with my followers: something delicious, easy, satisfies cravings, has some healthy ingredients, and would be enjoyed by the whole family. I asked the right person because Stefanie came up with something that covers all the bases: Her Peanut Butter Apple Cookies!

These cookies will satisfy any craving for a small snack, a sweet treat, or a quick boost. They taste like you’re dipping fresh apples into peanut butter! The apples offer some fruit and the peanut butter provides protein and rich flavor. The butter and sugar give some needed calories, especially for someone on the Go who needs to grab something quick to eat. No surprise, then, that she refers to them as her “After School Special”. The best part is that these ingredients are likely things you have in your pantry or home already. Also, the ingredients can be swapped out for substitutes like a natural sugar substitute, low calorie, low salt or vegan butter, chunky, creamy or natural peanut butter, or your favorite type of baking apple. These cookies will taste great at any season and a few of them will go a long way. They will also store well in an air tight container.

Try these and share with us how they come. I’m hoping to convince Stefanie to keep creating new dishes and treats that I can share with all of you (Thanks, Stef!)



1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy, chunky or natural)

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

Pinch of salt

Apple Filling

2 cups apples, diced (Granny Smith, Fuji, or your favorite kind for baking)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. Make the apple filling: Combine the diced apples in a bowl with the lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside
  4. Make the cookies: Cream butter, sugars and egg in a mixing bowl
  5. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and a pinch of salt
  6. Add the peanut butter
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  8. Roll the cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Use your thumb to press an indent into the center of each cookie.
  9. Fill each cookie indent with a spoonful of the apple filling.
  10. Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely

Photo Credit: Stefanie G.

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