Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

I’ve always been a little jealous of people with big families. Growing up, I was the youngest of the family, as well as the only girl. While this prime position of power afforded me certain advantages, I was severely lacking in the peer department when it came to family gatherings. By the time I came along, my brother was almost 7 and the few cousins I have were already teenagers. I had no one to play with. I guess that’s why I’m absolutely fascinated by other people’s big family gatherings. They actually have people their own age to hang out with!

Although I’m not related in any way, I’ve been unofficially adopted into my best friends’ families. Which makes me pretty well connected. Mention nearly anyone’s name from my hometown, and chances are Dani is related somehow. It seems like half the town is her cousin. While Kelli’s family tree doesn’t branch out quite as much as Dani’s, she’s still got a plethora of relations to add to the mix. (I’m jealous of the amount of girl cousins she got to play with growing up.) As an adopted member of each clan, I get invited to all the family functions. It’s almost assumed that I’ll be showing up to nearly all of Kelli’s family picnics and parties—with enough desserts to warrant my own table. And Dani’s family has been known to make her get up from Thanksgiving dinner to drive me over to celebrate with them (even though I was already stuffed from my own dinner!). So when Kelli threw a going away party for her brother, Jason, who was moving to Florida, of course I was there—cookies in hand.

I made peanut butter cookies because Jason doesn’t like chocolate (which is just utter crazy-talk if you ask me. Who doesn’t like chocolate?). I made these once before a long time ago (pre-blog era), and have been meaning to make them again. The dough turned out a bit softer than I remembered, but once I started rolling it out, it was alright. Just make sure to use a spatula to transfer them to the baking sheets, or they’ll totally lose their shape! Also, the filling was a little too light and fluffy for my liking. It tasted great, but the first bite sent it squishing out the sides. Next time, I might not add as much heavy cream. Or add a bit more confectioners’ sugar to stiffen it up a bit. All in all, the cookies were a hit. They’re the perfect sandy texture, and have a big peanut butter taste without being over the top. They’d also be great to fill with chocolate ganache or spread with your favorite jam for a PB&J cookie, perfect for the lunchbox.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Filling:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream

1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar, beating on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, beating to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beating until just combined, about 1 minute.
2. Divide dough in half and shape into two flattened disks. Cover disks with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside. (If refrigerated overnight, let dough stand for about a half an hour at room temperature to soften slightly.) On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to about ¼-inch thickness. Using a 1 ½-inch square or circle cutter, or just a sharp knife, cut out dough. Transfer shapes to prepared baking sheets, placing 1 inch apart. Reroll scraps as needed. (My dough was really soft, even after refrigerating, but it held together enough to roll out and cut fairly well. I had to use an offset spatula to transfer my squares to the baking sheets though.) Using the tines of a fork, press a cross hatch pattern into the squares. Refrigerate baking sheets until dough is firm, about 15 minutes.
4. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until squares are lightly golden brown around the edges and firm in the center, about 15 minutes. All to cool on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. While cookies are cooling, make filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and peanut butter until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time, until filling is thick and fluffy.
6. Pipe or spread frosting onto the bottom part of one cookie. Top with a second cookie.
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sarahe said...

these look wonderful! and i understand about the lack of family thing...i mean, i have two siblings who are within 5 years of my age, but we were never close, and i only have one cousin who is eleven years younger and lives in texas (and i'm in ky)! hubs family is busting w/kids though--8 between his 2 sisters! if we have kids there will be no lack of family around!

Kiesha said...

Big families can be a nightmare sometimes. I've got about 50 first cousins and who knows how many second cousins. I wouldn't be able to identify all my cousins by sight.

Heather said...

these look amazing. i'm making these. TODAY!!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Peanut butter sandwich cookies are my favorite cookies in the world (specifically nutter butters). This recipe is also on Martha Stewart's ipad app. I have to make them.
I'm doing a giveaway over at my blog for an $80 Amazon.com gift card! Come on over and enter :D
Have a fab weekend.
*kisses* HH

Lisa said...

I love chocolate, but peanut butter is right up there as well on my list of faves. Your sandwich cookies look totally tasty. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cookies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweets-for-saturday-8.html

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