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Monday, December 2, 2013

Peanut butter sandwich cookies

Today is December 1st!  I don't know where the time has gone.  It seems like just yesterday I was making personal cheesecakes for New Year's Eve....and that was 11 months ago! 

Today I saw someone's post on Facebook saying that Christmas was in 24 days.  And then I got an email with Day 1 of Christmas cookies.  And even though I ate a ton this weekend (between Thanksgiving dinner and then a Thanksgiving lunch on Saturday, and a delicious ramen lunch today), I decided that I should ring in the month of December with some cookies.  I know, I know....I am not normal.

So between lunch with my sisters (did I mention the delicious ramen?!), running errands (I bought a few blog-related items that I can't wait to use), and doing laundry, I made cookies.  And not just cookies, sandwich cookies.  So after I baked the 62 cookies (and then threw away the rest of the dough), I then had to make the filling, and then spread it on 31 of the cookies, and then sandwich them all together.  It was a bit much for having started the cookies after 9 p.m. and wanting to finish them quickly because my sister was staying over and wanted to go to bed by 10:30 p.m.  But it was well worth it.  And the best part?  I'm going to trivia tomorrow night and I'm bringing the cookies with me!  So they won't go to waste at my apartment...or worse yet, all get eaten by me!

I made these cookies called "All I Want for Christmas Peanut Butter Cookies" - but I changed them up a little bit.  The filling called for chopped up chocolate, and I just didn't feel right adding it.  Partly because (in all honesty) I was so pressed for time, and partly because I didn't feel like chopping the chocolate.  But most importantly, I love the chocolate-peanut butter combination as much as the next person, but I thought that the chocolate might get lost with a peanut butter filling sandwiched between two peanut butter cookies.  So I left it out.  I am including the chocolate in the recipe below, but just know that I left it out, and these cookies were still out-of-this-world.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from "All I Want for Christmas Peanut Butter Cookies" from Food52.  And by "adapted," I mean I left one ingredient out (intentionally).  These are basically a better (homemade) version of a Nutter Butter Cookies.


6 ounces unsalted butter, best quality
3/4 cups creamy peanut butter (do not use natural peanut butter)
1/2 cup light brown sugar -- I only had about 1/4 cup light brown sugar, so I used dark for the rest
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 vanilla bean, scrape seeds
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peanut Butter Buttercream Sandwich Cream:
I halved the recipe because I had larger - and therefore fewer - cookies to fill.  I still had a ton of filling!
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate or miniature chips (I left this out)
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream (I ended up using 2 for half of the recipe (4 if I did the whole recipe) and thought that the consistency was perfect!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350.
Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Cream butter, peanut butter and sugar together until lightened.                 
Add egg, beat to combine, then add vanilla bean.
Beat well until combined and lightened.                
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
Fold into butter mixture thoroughly, but gently.  I tried to fold it by hand but the dough was too thick.  I switched back to using my stand mixer.             
Place rounded teaspoons (mine were slightly larger because I used my cookie scoop) of dough on the sheet pan, about 2" apart, and press down gently with a fork or with two floured fingers.           
Bake about 10-12 minutes, until barely golden on top, and golden brown on the bottom.  I baked mine for 10 minutes.
The cookies will be very soft, so don't fuss with them until they cool.                
Allow the cookies to cool completely while you make the sandwich cream.            
Make the filling:    

Beat the sugar, butter and peanut butter together.
Stir in vanilla and chocolate.
Add cream until smooth enough to spread.                
Put the little (Mine weren't that little, despite my love of all baked things mini) cookies together, gluing one half to the other with a very generous schmear of sandwich cream.
The original recipe ended with "If you are very lucky, there will be broken halves, or uneven numbers - as that means a little snack for the baker."  However, I made an even number on purpose, and NONE of my cookies broke, even after an entire tray went crashing to the kitchen floor.  So I tasted a floor cookie :-)

P.S. These cookies would be good alone, without the filling....so if you're in the mood for a peanut butter cookie, try this recipe out, too.

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