Tea in a May Basket: Flower Pot Cookies

These are my favorite cookies for Spring and will work beautifully in the May Baskets. (My photography doesn't do them justice; the flowers are actually the purple of violets.) If you aren’t able to pipe flowers, buy pre-made flower decorations from the grocery store. For leaves, flatten a gumdrop or spearmint candy leaf and cut leaves from that.

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
30 miniature peanut butter cups, halved
Decorator frosting

In a mixing bowl, cream peanut butter, shortening, 1/2 cup sugar and brown sugar. Add the egg, milk and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape into 1-in. balls. Roll in remaining sugar; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and immediately lightly press one peanut butter cup cut side down into each cookie to form a basket. Allow cookies to cool completely. Pipe a flower and stem decoration on each cookie. For the cookies pictured above, I used a drop flower tip for the flowers and a round tip for the stems and flower center. Makes about 4 dozen.

Decorator Frosting:
¼ cup shortening
¼ cup butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and shortening; add sugar, milk and vanilla. Blend on medium speed until all ingredients are well mixed.