By Mari Levine for

What’s better than eating gelt straight up? Eating gelt that’s been pressed into a peanut butter cookie! 

Makes about 35 cookies


1 stick (8 tablespoons) room-temperature butter

½ cup granulated sugar, plus extra to roll dough balls in

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup smooth peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

About 35 gelt pieces


  1. Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer, use whisk attachment to cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and mix until combined. Beat in vanilla and egg. In medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder to combine. Slowly add flour mixture until dough forms. (Dough might look pebbly but it will be soft and cohesive enough to form dough balls.)
  3. Add about 3 tablespoons granulated sugar to small mixing bowl. Scoop heaping 1-tablespoon dough portions into bowl, a few at a time, and roll around until covered. Roll into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between dough balls.
  4. Using your fingers, make a slight indentation in the center of each dough ball.
  5. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are just starting to brown around edges, 9-11 minutes, rotating pan 180 degrees halfway through baking.
  6. Remove sheet pan from oven and place one piece of gelt in center of each cookie, lightly pressing gelt into cookie. Return cookies to oven and bake until gelt has softened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove cookies from oven and transfer to cooling rack.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

Mari Levine is a freelance food writer and an editor for America’s Test Kitchen, where she combines her journalism and culinary degrees from Brandeis University and Johnson & Wales, respectively, with her restaurant and lifelong eating experience. 

Type of Custom: Hanukkah, Recipes

Holiday/Event: Chanukah

Source: JewishBoston