These playful, crunchy peanut butter cookie sandwiches with their gooey milk chocolate filling are great for kids of all ages. Using a commercial peanut butter is the key to evoking that childhood taste (my favorite is Skippy creamy; try crunchy for variation and see which you like best). Be sure to let the cookies cool completely before filling them, or bake them a day in advance and fill them the next day. Unfilled peanut butter cookies are also great to use for ice cream sandwiches, and are delicious alongside chocolate pudding.–Karen DeMasco
LC Dare We Suggest? Note
This peanut butter cookies recipe is a fun project to make with the family. Rolling out those 1/2 inch balls of dough is a job suited to tiny hands, after all, and sandwiching them together (eating the “accidentally” broken ones, natch) can teach young minds about counting and pairing, as well as the simple satisfaction of baking something beautiful. But we all know that baking with the little ones takes longer, and generates more mess, than baking solo. So, with that in mind, dare we suggest that you swap out the milk chocolate filling for a jar of Nutella? While the original is delightful, sometimes we all need to cheat a little.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
For the peanut butter cookies
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons 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 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
For the milk chocolate filling
- 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
Make the peanut butter cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). 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 the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 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, and 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 peanut butter cookies can be stored, unfilled, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)
Make the milk chocolate 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 heat 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 it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 1 week (let it come to room temperature before using).
Assemble the peanut butter cookies
- Using an offset spatula, spread 1 teaspoon of the milk chocolate 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.
Originally published November 30, 2009