40 miniature-size (about 1-inch square) chocolate- coated, caramel-topped nougat candy bars (with or without peanuts) or 20 fun-size candy bars (about 2 x 1-inch rectangles), halved crosswise
Optional: small multicolor decorative candies, chopped nuts, and/or colored sugar
Optional: melted chocolate or frosting
Beat peanut butter, butter or margarine and shortening in a large mixing
bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda; beat until combined.
Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until combined.
Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer on medium speed,
scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.
Insert a wooden stick into each candy bar piece. Form about 2 tablespoons
dough into a ball shape around each candy bar piece, making sure the candy is
completely covered. If desired, roll ball in decorative candies, nuts, or colored
sugar, gently pushing candies or nuts into dough. Place cookies 2 1/2 inches
apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and set.
Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely on rack.
If desired, drizzle or frost the cookies with melted chocolate or frosting.