I just finished my last midterm of the week and finally have time to write a new post. I made these the same day as the Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pattie Cake, but life has been a little hectic to say the least so here they are a few days late! Good thing these little cookies were so good that I remember them perfectly. Usually I'm a chewy cookie lover. I often underbake cookies I make which leaves all of the crunchy lovers quite disappointed, but I refuse to see the difference between crunchy and burnt. I've been known to throw away batches of cookies that other people consider just right. These sandwich cookies are a perfect compromise. They are crunchy on the outside, but not in a burnt sort of way. I would compare them to a crunchy Oreo outside that is complemented by the smooth inside for a perfect combination.
One thing I especially love about these is the peanut butter in the chocolate filling. It makes it much richer and creamier than plain chocolate fillings that often go with cookies. And, as is probably evidenced by the fact the "peanut butter" tag on my blog is the third largest, I'm always happy with a little extra pb taste. I honestly can see myself making these for anything. They don't keep all that well because the cookie gets softer as the days progress, but I didn't have a problem with leftovers anyway. They're fun and simple looking, but also look like they required more of an effort than they actually do. I will definitely be making these again.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Milk Chocolate Filling
Recipe from Karen DeMasco's The Craft of Baking
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon lightly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
6 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the oil, vanilla, and egg and beat until just combined, about 20 seconds. Add the flour mixture, beating just to combine.
Lightly flour the palms of your hands (I found that this took a lot more flour than I expected). Roll the dough into balls about 1/2 inch in diameter. Place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are golden brown on the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool completely. (The cookies can be stored, unfilled, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)
To make the filling, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove the cream from the hear and pour it over the chocolate mixture. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted. Set the bowl in an ice bath, or chill it in the refrigerator, until the filling has cooled to room temperature and is thick enough to spread. Then use it immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to one week (let it come to room temperature before using).
Using an offset spatula, spread 1 teaspoon of the filling over the flat sides of half of the cookies. Sandwich with the remaining cookies, flat sides together.
Once filled, the cookies are best eaten the same day, but they can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.