Friday, January 13, 2012

Double double your delightment
with Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Peanut butter cookies are mighty fine. There’s no mistaking the charm and comfort-food appeal of this classic soft cookie.
   I’ve got a recipe that, like Doublemint does for gum, double doubles the delightment of peanut butter cookies: Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies (click for it) from Fine Cooking magazine.
   That’s right – two peanut butter cookies sandwich a creamy icing-like filling that is also made from peanut butter.
   It sounds good, and it is. It’s a basic, happy, comforting cookie recipe that the whole family will love.
   The cookies have the lovely trademark softness of a good peanut butter cookie, thanks to the presence of cake flour in the dough.
   The recipe says to store the cookies in a sealed container at room temperature or the fridge. I opted to store them in the fridge because the filling contains a bit of heavy cream. Before I served them, I let them warm up to room temperature first – they’re a bit too hard to eat when they’re cold.
   The recipe says it yields 18 sandwich cookies; I found the dough was actually enough for a batch of 12 cookies.
   However, the filling part of the recipe produced enough for two batches, so I obliged and made another batch of cookies. The filling is far too good to go to waste!
   Like any good comforting recipe, this one is easy to make.
   To make the cookies, all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda and salt are mixed together.
   Room-temperature soft butter, smooth peanut butter, white and brown sugars, vanilla and an egg are creamed together with a stand-up or hand-held electric mixer.
   The flour mixture is stirred into the flour mixture by hand just until it’s incorporated. A soft dough will form, but don’t worry if it doesn’t come together into one nice ball. You can easily press pieces of dough together to form the cookies.
   Heaping tablespoons of batter are put on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, then flattened into two-inch rounds spaced two inches apart.
   The cookies are baked until they are puffed and golden, and are then left to cool completely on a rack.
   To make the filling, confectioners’ sugar (also known as icing or powdered sugar), butter, smooth peanut butter, and heavy cream (I used whipping cream) are creamed together until smooth. Coarsely-chopped roasted unsalted peanuts (I chopped mine in a mini-chopper) and coarsely-chopped semisweet chocolate or mini semisweet chocolate chips (I used the mini chips) are stirred in.
   Filling is spread on the bottom of one cookie, another is placed on the filling, and the cookies are pressed gently together to spread the filling and "glue" them together.

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