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.