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Peanut Sitting-Pretties Cookies

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1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
pinch salt
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1-1/2 cups finely chopped salted roasted peanuts
1 cup Buttercream frosting
1 cup M&Ms candies

Peanut Sitting-Pretties Cookies

Peanut Sitting-Pretties Cookies are a delicious choice for a Christmas party, or for any special occasion.

  • Serves 36
  • Medium

About This Recipe

This recipe goes way, way back in my family’s holiday traditions. I think we found it on the back of a candy package. My sister makes it for every Christmas celebration she attends, and it flies off the cookie platters. It is fussy to make, but you will be the hit of the gathering if you bring a plate of these goodies. Peanut Sitting-Pretties Cookies are perfect for Easter, since they look like tiny bird’s nests, with the candy coated chocolate pieces for the eggs, but they’re also a wonderful Christmas cookie.

The dough is very rich with brown sugar and egg yolk. It’s soft, so you need to chill it before you make the cookies. You can make the dough up to three days ahead of time. Then form them, bake them, frost, and add the M&Ms.

This recipe is usually made with peanut M&Ms, but you can use regular M&M candies if you’d like. For Christmas, use holiday candies in red and green. The original recipe used chopped walnuts to roll the cookies, but I changed that to chopped salted roasted peanuts for better flavor. And the salt adds great flavor.

I transformed this recipe into bar cookies so they are easier to make, but every now and then I get a hankering for the original recipe.

How to make the best Peanut Sitting-Pretties Cookies

  • As always, measure the flour correctly, or the cookies will be dry and tough. You can measure the flour by weighing it (125 grams is one cup) or spoon the flour lightly into the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
  • Don’t overwork the dough. Make sure that you chill it before shaping and baking.
  • You can use canned frosting, or make your own buttercream frosting. Both types work well in this recipe.

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Combine the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl and beat until creamy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and stir until combined.


Add the flour and salt and mix just until combined. Do not overwork the dough.


Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least 4 hours, up to 3 days. Make sure that you refrigerate the egg white too.


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Form the dough into 1-inch balls. Dip each ball into the egg white, then roll in the peanuts to coat well.


Bake the cookies for 5 minutes. Then remove the pan from the oven and make an indentation in each cookie with the back of a small spoon. Return the cookie sheet to the oven and bake for another 5 minute.


Cool the cookies for 10 minutes, then carefully place on a wire rack to cool.


Fill each cookie with the buttercream frosting, then top with some candies. Store covered at room temperature.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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