Ode to a Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

By Jennifer Steinhauer 

’Twas the night before deadline, and all through the work station 

Not a creature could help me, they’d all left for vacation 

My computer had crashed, my work was all lost  

I was sure to be fired, woe my AmEx bill costs! 

 But then came the Santa, up from IT 

Before leaving for home, he helped technophobe me! 

He earned this cookie, a most special gift, 

No gingerbread man could repay such a lift. 

 And so I have baked the best treat by a mile 

Much better than pressed cookies, though quite a trial 

The creamiest peanut butter confection on earth 

One only the most special person is worth. 

 

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies 

Recipe by Cathy Barrow 

Makes about 4 dozen small sandwich cookies 

 For the cookie: 

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks, 6 ounces) best-quality unsalted butter 
  • ¾ cup (6½ ounces) creamy peanut butter (not all-natural) 
  • ½ cup (3½ ounces) light brown sugar 
  • ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups (8½ ounces) all-purpose flour 
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 

For the filling: 

  • ¼ cup ( ½ stick, 2 ounces) best-quality unsalted butter 
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar 
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) creamy peanut butter (not all-natural) 
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream 
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Pinch of kosher salt 
  • ½ cup (3 ounces) mini chocolate chips 

 Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. 

 In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter and two sugars together until lightened, about 4 minutes. Add the egg, beat to combine, then add the vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes, until pale and fluffy. 

 In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour to the butter and sugar mixture and beat on low speed until the flour is just incorporated.  

With a small scoop or 2 spoons, place single teaspoons of dough on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Press down very gently with a fork, making a cross pattern. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, until they are barely golden brown. Slide the entire parchment sheet onto the cooling rack: The cookies are very soft until they cool, so be gentle. 

 Repeat until all the cookies have been baked. (If you keep the cookie size consistent, sandwiching 2 cookies together is easier.) 

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar and peanut butter together until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the cream and beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, add up to 1 additional tablespoon of cream. Beat in the vanilla extract and salt and then stir in the chocolate chips. Sandwich the cookies with a generous spoonful of the buttercream. Be gentle as the cookies are very tender and will crack. 

 Store the cookies in tins between layers of wax paper. Cookies stay fresh for 3 or 4 days, or up to a month frozen. Pro tip: Carry these cookies to parties or the office by packing them in egg cartons.