Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

April 4, 2012

Every day my peanut-loving son takes a PBJ sandwich and Nutter Butter cookies to school for lunch, so my son was especially interested in the outcome of this recipe. As I expected, he loved the cookies and said they were 10 times better than pre-packaged Nutter Butter. The crisp cookie was fresh and tender, not at all dried out, and the peanut butter filling really intensified the nutty flavor. 4-stars.

Final cookies were a home run for my peanut-loving son

  1. The recipe calls for raw peanuts, but after looking in 3 different supermarkets I wasn’t able to locate raw peanuts anywhere. In the end, I bought pre-roasted peanuts labelled as “party peanuts”, because the ingredient list was very simple. It appears to be a much better substitute than Planter’s.
  2. The recipe yields 35-ounces of filled cookies, a little more than two 16-oz packages of Nutter Butters.  The full retail price of Nutter Butters is $4.50 per pound, but I usually buy them when they are $2.50 per pound. So while this recipe won’t save a careful shopper any money, they are still worth making because they are fresher and free on weird oils and other additives; what is hydrogenated rapseed oil anyway.
  3. If you use a level tablespoon to measure out the dough, the recipe will make 24 filled-cookies; i.e. 48 halves. I slightly heaped my tablespoons and ended up with 18 slightly larger cookies; i.e. 36 halves.
  4. There was barely enough filling to fill all the cookies. I had to be careful and sometimes under-estimated and the filling didn’t make it all the way to the edges. Next time I will increase the filling by 20%, so that I don’t have to be so stingy with the filling. Also there are two other fillings available; milk chocolate filling or honey-cinnamon filling.
  5. Chris Kimball warns against using unsalted peanut butter in this recipe, but I have never seen unsalted peanut butter for sale in my main-stream supermarket.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $4.50 for 35-ounces.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 4:45 PM. Snack time 6:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. My descriptions of how I prepare it are given below:

1 -1/4 cups toasted peanuts (6-1/4 ounces)
3/4-cup all-purpose flour (3-3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (4-3/4 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3-3/4 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3-1/2 ounces)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg

Peanut Butter Filling:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (7-1/2 ounces)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (4 ounces)

  1. Set two rack to the upper-middle and lower-middle of your oven, and begin to pre-heat to 350-degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Add toasted peanuts to bowl of food processor and pulse 8 times until they become finely chopped.
  3. If a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. Put butter in another large bowl and microwave for 25 seconds until melted. Whisk together peanut putter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, milk and egg. Then add flour mixture and stir using a rubber spatula until well combined. Add the chopped peanuts and continue mixing until the peanuts have been evenly incorporated.
  5. Use a level (or ever so slightly heaping) tablespoon to measure out 12 mounds onto each of the two parchment-lined sheet pans. Moisten your hands with water and flatten each cooking into 2″ rounds.
  6. Bake at 350-degrees for 16 to 18 minutes, or until they turn a deep golden brown. Be sure to switch racks and rotate 180-degrees halfway through cooking.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the sheet pans before moving them to a wire rack, where they will take an additional 30 minutes to completely cool.
  8. Repeat steps 5 to 7 with remaining dough, though the recipe may not yield the full 48 cookie halves.
  9. For the filling, add butter and peanut butter to a medium bowl and microwave on high for 40 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to combine, then add confectioners’ sugar. Again, stir until there is no more powdered sugar.
  10. Because some cookies will be slightly different size, group them in pairs so that the two sandwich halves will be approximately the same size. Put 1 level tablespoon of the filling into the middle of one side of the sandwhcih, then put the second cookie on top and use a twisting motion until the filling works it’s way to the edges.
  11. It’s best to allow the filling to firm up for an hour before serving, but my son and I couldn’t resist and they were delicious, though the filling squished out a little.

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