I vowed to bake less this summer, both because of the temperature and because of my waistline.
But it’s just not happening. I can’t stay out of the kitchen, and I certainly can’t leave well enough alone.
Which is why when I read Cupcakes for Breakfast the other morning, I got an idea. Nikki sandwiched peanut butter and Nutella in between her shortbread cookies.
And I had been eyeing these peanut butter cookies on Food 52 for quite some time. And boom.
Question: Wouldn’t it be perfect to use Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s peanut butter filling in half of them, and use Nutella in the other half?
These rich, two-bite cookies have a crisp crunch that gives way to the silky filling inside. You can’t go wrong with whichever filling you choose. Nutella is a great complement to peanut butter, and takes the richness to another level. On the other hand (or in the other hand, if you’re smart enough to double fist these cookies), the peanut butter filling is studded with chocolate chips that are like little gifts in the middle of busy day. These cookies are a two-bite respite from whatever weekday craziness is in your life. They’re a chance to indulge, albeit briefly, in something completely decadent, and totally worthwhile.
To make 40 sandwiches, you will need:
(essential ingredients in bold)
For the cookies:
- 6 oz. unsalted butter (Mrs. Wheelbarrow wants you to use the best quality you can buy. Try Plugra or Kerrygold, both at Whole Foods), at room temperature
- 3/4 C creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 1/2 C white sugar (just the regular, granulated stuff)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 vanilla bean, scrape seeds (or, 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
- 2 C all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. table salt
For the peanut butter filling:
*A note – this is the recipe given in Food 52, so it makes enough to fill all of your sandwiches. I halved this recipe.
- 8 T butter, at room temperature
- 2 C confectioners sugar
- 1 C creamy peanut butter
- 1 C chopped chocolate chips, or mini chocolate chips
- 4-6 T heavy cream (confession: I had skim milk, so that’s what I used)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Nutella filling:
To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Comine butter, peanut butter and sugars in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed until smooth and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add egg, beat to combine, and add vanilla. Beat till combined and lightened again.
Stir flour, baking soda, and salt together in small bowl. Fold into butter mixture gently, and mix just till combined.
Place rounded teaspoons of dough onto the pan, about 2 inches apart. I typically use my regular spoons to scoop out dough, but here, I’d recommend using either a teaspoon measure, or a small cookie scoop. Because you’re sandwiching the cookies together, you actually do need them to be the same size. Press down gently with a fork to get that classic peanut butter cookie look. After lots of cookie making, I finally figured out it’s a lot easier to slide the fork off when finished, rather than trying to lift off.
Pop the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes, until they’re just barely golden brown. The cookies will still appear soft when they come out, so make sure they cool completely before handling. While they cool, prepare the sandwich cream.
Beat the butter, sugar, and peanut butter together. Stir in vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Add cream until consistency is spreadable. Spread filling on one side of cookie, and press another on top.
I made two sandwiches before I buckled and ate one!