Our Senior Editor Makes a Recipe from Baking by Food52 to Test If They’re Really “Treats You Can Pull of in a Snap”

October 10, 2019

Baking can be intimidating. It doesn’t give you the same freedom as cooking does; what with the exact measurements, specific tools, and high risk for mishaps. So it’s easy for amateurs to shy away from making anything from scratch. Enter cookbooks such as Baking by the editors of Food52, a prominent food site in the US. These basic, introductory guides help first-time bakers take that first leap into using the oven.

Baking is a diverse collection of 60 re-imagined classic baked goods. Most of them are familiar, using ingredients commonly found in the pantry—with occasional curve balls like coconut milk and rye flour. These recipes, which were picked by the Food52 staff and their trusted community, are meant to be easy. None of them keep you in the kitchen for hours, nor  require chef-level skills for professional results. The book is meant to be “your right hand whenever a good bake beckoned.”

7/7 are probably already in your pantry… also why does it say 6-ingredient when there are 7?

… the real secret to successful baking is finding recipes that are guaranteed to turn out cookies, cakes, pies, and dinner rolls that not only taste much better than anything you could pick up from the store, but also make you smile involuntarily and maybe even bop up and down a little.

Our Senior Editor Jica, who describes herself as more of an eater than a baker, was on the look-out for a simple cookie recipe. But she didn’t want any normal chocolate chip cookie—to make, that is; she’ll eat a chocolate chip cookie any day. So when she found the Six-Ingredient Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies, she thought to herself “Why not?” It seemed easy enough. Plus, she welcomed the idea of putting the classic PB&J into cookie sandwich form.

Baking cookies require a lot of focus.

True to the book’s advertising, the recipe was really easy to do. Jica didn’t even have to buy anything except for the peanut butter and jam, since most of the ingredients were already in our pantry. All she had to do now was mix everything together, then stick it in the oven. That said, she admits that she was still pretty nervous, mostly because she was unsure about portioning.

Her worries were validated after the batter spread wider than she intended while baking. Jica hoped to come out with macaron-sized cookies, but they ended up being gigantic (like ice cream sandwiches big). “It said ‘teaspoon-sized’ balls, and I didn’t even put a whole spoon’s worth! So I don’t know what went wrong.”

Pro-tip from Jica: use chunky peanut butter for the batter, then smooth peanut butter for the filling. Best of both worlds.

She was also pretty disappointed that the cookies came out all crispy, and not chewy as was promised. According to our Head Chef Kimmie, that might have been wrong advertising, since, based on the ingredients, you could tell that the recipe would produce crispy cookies—which was weird for a cookie sandwich.

Nonetheless, the cookies themselves were delicious. (Jica says she’d eat them as is.) Add in the PB&J and you’ve really got the flavors from the sandwich. Although, Jica warns you to spread the jam sparingly because her cookies, admittedly, were too sweet. “The recipe says to spread the jam ‘almost to the edge of the cookies,’ but that might be too much.”

Six-Ingredient Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies

From Baking, a cookbook by editors of Food52

  • Serves: 3-6 people
  • Active time: 45 mins
  • Total time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Special tools: Cooling rack



  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Peanut butter
  • Strawberry of raspberry jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the cookie ingredients in a large bowl and stir well.
  4. Scoop out teaspoon sized balls of cookie dough and space them two inches apart on the cookie sheets.
  5. Using a fork dipped in sugar gently press the cookies down.
  6. Rotate the fork and press again to make the classic peanut butter cookie pattern. The dough is quite sticky so it is important to keep re-sugaring the fork to keep it from sticking.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly set and browning around the edges. The tops should still be light.
  8. Remove pans from the oven and let cool for a couple of minutes.
  9. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  10. Turn half of the cookies over and spread the bottoms with a thin layer of peanut butter.
  11. Top with a teaspoon of jam and spread almost to the edges of the cookie.
  12. Top with remaining cookies.
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