A while back last year, when Smitten Kitchen cookbook just came out, I won it at one of the giveaways, which made me very happy because I really wanted her book and because I usually don’t win anything. Since then, I have been using that cookbook mainly as my night time comfort reading, enjoying Deb’s stories and pictures right before I fall asleep. Then, I had a realization last week that I haven’t even cooked anything from that cookbook yet, and that was about to change when I started flipping through the pages and saw her chocolate peanut butter cookies, sandwiched together with a thick chocolate peanut butter frosting.
These cookies are so-o-o special! They will appeal equally to kids and adults, to those who like chocolate-based desserts and those who don’t. These cookies have a perfect ratio of sugar to peanut butter: they are perfectly sweet and the chocolate frosting does not overwhelm the peanut butter taste.
I also love that the cookies don’t have a large amount of butter in the frosting (only 2 tablespoons of butter in the frosting enough for 40 sandwiched cookies!) – just enough to fluff up and soften up the creamy peanut butter! As a result, I don’t have that feeling in my stomach that I am stuffed even after I eat a whole bunch of these cookies!
I also love the small size of each individual cookie! Sometimes peanut butter cookies could be too rich, but these are not! They are just perfect little dessert.
I am definitely adding these easy-to-make cookies to my collection of simple-to-make but good-looking cookies!
Chocolate peanut butter cookies
Total time: 50 minutes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
Ingredients for cookie dough:
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (let the butter from refrigerator sit on the counter for about an hour or so)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted or aerated (see important note below!)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Ingredients for filling:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
Makes 40 sandwiched cookies
Important note about properly measuring flour using measuring cups:
The proper way to measure flour using measuring cups is to aerate it first. This is done either by sifting flour, or aerating it by fluffing it up and whisking it well, then spooning it into the measuring cup, then carefully removing any excess flour with a knife. If you just stick that measuring cup in the bag of flour and scoop some out, you will get a lot more flour than what the recipe calls for. Do aerate the flour, or you will end up with dry dough!
To make the cookies:
1) Beat butter and peanut butter in a large bowl until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until combined. Add egg and beat until smooth.
2) In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt).
3) Add dry ingredients from step 2 to the wet ingredients from step 1 and beat on low speed until just incorporated.
4) Divide dough into 4 parts: the dough will be crumbly. Form a rectangular shaped log out of each cookie dough part and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes until cookie dough firms up.
5) Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly greased aluminum foil.
6) Slice each log of cookie dough (after it’s been in the freezer for 30 minutes) into 1/4 inch thick slices.
7) Carefully place sliced cookies onto the prepared baking sheet (remember the dough is very crumbly). You don’t have to space them too far apart because these cookies won’t flatten. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly puffed and just a little bit golden brown at the edges.
8) Transfer to the cooling rack and cool completely before filling.
To make the filling:
1) In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
2) Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined.
3) In a microwave melt the chocolate and add it to the peanut butter mixture, beating until well incorporated, fluffy and spreadable.
4) Place about 1 teaspoon of chocolate frosting on top of a cookie and place a second cookie on top of the chocolate frosting. Press 2 cookies together. Repeat with the rest of cookies.