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Cook's Illustrated: Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

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The problem with a sandwich cookie is that you think of it as one cookie, but when you eat two you’re actually eating four cookies plus the filling. My limit is three cookies in one sitting.

Back in April, my mom picked up a Cook’s Illustrated magazine that what looked like a great recipe for peanut butter sandwich cookies. The crisp, thin cookies are sandwiched with a tasty peanut butter filling, and both the components are easy to make.

Besides peanut butter, the dough also has ground peanuts, giving the cookies more depth of flavor. The filling reminded us of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Everything combined makes for one tasty cookie.

Since I didn’t have regular peanut butter, I used natural peanut butter in both the cookie dough and filling. I added a few extra tablespoons of flour and shortening so the dough wouldn’t be too soft. As it is, the dough is pretty slack, but it needs to be in order for the cookie to bake up thin and crisp.

After baking two sheets of cookies, I decided that 350 degrees was just too high, even when I baked them less than required. The edges were a little too dark and almost looked burnt, so I lowered the temperature to 325 degrees and baked them for 15 minutes. The cookies were still thin and crispy, but looked golden brown.

Look at these tasty cookies! The cookies are a little crumbly when you bite into them, but it sticks together thanks to the creamy filling. Irresistible. I had 1.5 cookies.

Recipe after jump.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Recipe modified from Cook’s Illustrated

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients -

1 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (if using natural peanut butter, add 2 tablespoons shortening and an additional 2 tablespoons flour)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg

Filling -

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions -

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse peanuts in food processor until finely chopped. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Whisk butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, milk, and egg together in a second bowl. Stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Stir in peanuts until evenly distributed.
  2. Using a tablespoon measure, place 12 mounds, evenly spaced, on the prepared baking sheet. Using a damp hand, flatten mounds until 2 inches in diameter.
  3. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Repeat portioning and baking remaining dough.
  4. For the filling: Microwave peanut butter and butter until butter is melted and warm, about 40 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, stir in confectioners’ sugar until combined.
  5. To assemble: Place 24 cookies upside down on work surface. Place 1 level tablespoon warm filling in center of each cookie. Place second cookie on top of filling, right side up, pressing gently until filling spreads to edges. Allow filling to set for 1 hour before serving (I didn’t). Assembled cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


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