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Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Recipe adopted from America's Test Kitchen.  [Recipe makes 12 large cookies].

For quite some time, I've been on the quest for a family member to find the perfect peanut butter cookie.  I've tried all sorts of versions - none of which have impressed me.  Some are crunchy in a non-appetizing, dry sort-of-way.  Some are chewy, but are far too greasy for my taste.  And some just lack the true peanut taste that a peanut butter cookie really should have.

After watching America's Test Kitchen the other week, I saw them making these Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies and I was intrigued.  Their cookie had a combination of the crisp top and bottoms with the creamy peanut butter center, and above all, they had a true peanut taste by roasting and grinding a generous amount of peanuts.  To give you an idea of what to expect, imagine a gourmet version of those Girl Scout Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies that we all know and love.  Until someone presents me with a recipe they think could top this, ATK's sandwich cookies will easily remain as my new favorite peanut butter cookie.

INGREDIENTS:

Cookies:
6 1/4 ounces (~1 1/4 cups) raw peanuts, toasted and cooled
3 3/4 ounces (~3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 1/2 ounces (~1/2 cup) creamy peanut butter
3 1/2 ounces (~1/2 cup) granulated sugar
3 1/2 ounces (~1/2 cup) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg

Filling:
6 3/4 ounces (~3/4 cup) creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces (~1 cup) powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

For the cookies, pulse the peanuts in a food processor until fine; reserve.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, peanut butter, sugars, milk, and egg until uniform.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the the flour mixture.  Lastly, fold in the peanuts.

Using a #60 scoop (or a generous tablespoon, or 1.1 ounces), place 12 mounds on each of the two cookie sheets (24 total).  Wet your fingers and shape each mound until flat and roughly 2-inches in diameter.  Bake until golden brown, 14 to 15 minutes.  [Side note:  Unlike most cookies, you want to remove them once they seem browned rather than anticipating carry over cooking and removing them early, since we're looking for a crisp end product].  Let the cookies cool for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling, microwave the peanut butter and butter until the butter is melted, roughly 40 seconds.  Combine the two using a rubber spatula, and then fold in the powdered sugar.  While the filling is still warm, place a #60 scoop (or a generous tablespoon or 1 ounce) of the filling in between two cookies, and twist the two cookies gently until the filling comes out to the edges of the cookies.  Let the cookies set for an hour before serving.

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