I've been making this peanut butter cookie recipe for 14 years and I will never, ever forget the time and place where I found it.
The wedding chapel at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bet you didn't expect that one coming, did ya?
When I was a freshman in college at UNLV, my roommate worked at the wedding chapel as a wedding coordinator. She hooked me up with a job there too (as well as 2 of her other friends) so that's 4 fresh, young, squeaky-clean girls, all new to Las Vegas, all TOO young to be running weddings, working together at the Tropicana. You just know some of those weddings were doomed in our hands, even if they were already doomed by the fact that they're getting married at the ghetto-fab Trop (although I must say it has since been renovated and I'm sure it's lovely).
Our jobs were to get the brides and grooms situated, pin on the flowers to the ever-stumbling-not-quite-drunk-but-getting-there grooms, play the music on the organ (and when I say play, I mean 'hit the play button' as the organ played cd's) video tape the ceremonies, collect the cash, and then repeat.
It was one of the most memorable jobs I've had, very Vegas-style. Although I did work as a telemarketer for a dating agency once (more like for a week to be exact). I had to call people AT RANDOM mind you, and ask if they'd like to come in and prepare a quick video about themselves for potential daters. This is all well and good if people are interested in finding their true love (or their flavor of the week) but since we were calling people off random lists, I ended up calling a lot of seniors who couldn't even begin to hear me, and if they did, thought I was either the funniest phone call of their twilight years, or the devil.
So back to the peanut butter recipe, because I could just go on and on about those Vegas years. At the chapel, when you control the camera's to tape the wedding you really have to be paying attention to what's going on every second of the way as there are different camera's installed at different locations to tape exact parts of the ceremony. Being 17, it wasn't my fault I wasn't too interested in watching Muffy and Steve renew their vows and sometimes lose concentration. For example, on afternoon working the camera I happened to glance over to our coffee station and saw the box of C&H Sugar with a peanut butter cookie recipe on the side. Wow it looked so easy, and it must be good if they put it on the box?! Oh yeh, what was I doing? Poor Muffy and Steve...so maybe their first kiss didn't have the perfect view on camera, but I scored the best peanut butter cookie recipe of my life, which I still make to this day, and now I'm sharing with you.
As for the Chick-O-Sticks, this was the first time I've ever worked with them. My mom bought me a box when I was home, and lately every stash of candy I get my hands on is a new project, and here we are. If you've never seen or tasted Chick-O-Sticks, they taste almost identical to the inside part of a Butterfinger candy bar. Very flaky and sweet.
Crushed up inside the cookie they slightly melt and give an immense crunch and taste. We're talking peanut butter explosion of happiness here. And the color! Look at that color! Perfect for Halloween if you ask me.
Chick-O-Stick Peanut Butter Cookies
makes about 2 1/2 dozen
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed Chick-O-Stick candies (about 28 pieces)
sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. To crush the candies, place inside a zip-lock bag and crush with a rolling pin. Set aside.
Combine the peanut butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand up mixer.
Mix until thoroughly combined.
Add the crushed Chick-O-Sticks and combine with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Using a cookie scoop, place balls of dough on a greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle generously with white sugar. This gives the cookies an additional crunch, and a bit of bling-bling.
Bake for about 14-16 minutes until slightly browned. Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool.
Recipe adapted from C&H Sugar
Tropicana Wedding Chapel (because I just can't help myself)