Wednesday, September 1, 2010
More cookies today!
I've been craving peanut butter lately so earlier this week I whipped up a batch of these cookies cute little sandwich cookies.
Since I baked these cookies late in the evening, when the lighting is terrible for food photography, I boxed them up and tossed them into the freezer. I will often freeze things this way, since not only does it preserve the food until I'm ready to photograph, it usually deters would-be-snackers who pass through the kitchen.
Key word here is usually.
As it turns out, freezing these cookies is no deterrent. When a half dozen sandwiches went missing, I questioned the usual suspects and learned that they're quite good straight from the freezer. I tried them and discovered they're indeed terrific frozen and everyone I give them to agrees.
Crisp, frosty peanut butter wafers, a cool silky smooth filling, it almost makes peanut butter... refreshing?!
I know it makes no sense, you'll just have to try them to understand.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook with slight modifications
yields three dozen sandwiches
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature but still firm
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature but still firm
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment (or hand beaters), beat the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Reduce your mixer's speed to low and add the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed to combine (1 minute).
Divide the dough in half and wrap each blob in plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into disks and chill for at least a hour or overnight.
Once chilled, pre-heat your oven to 325°F. Pull out a single batch of dough from the refrigerator and roll out the cookies on a well floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut the desired shapes and place them onto pans lined with parchment or silicone baking mats. For this batch I'm using a Shortbread Cookie Cutter. If the dough gets a little soft while collecting and recombining scraps, re-wrap in plastic and transfer it to the freezer to chill, begin working on the second piece of chilled dough.
Bake the cookies for 20 minutes until crisp.
Transfer the cookies to a wire wrack to cool completely before filling.
In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or using hand beaters), combine the butter, peanut butter and sugar. Beat on medium high speed until uniform and fluffy. If the mixture seems overly dense, add a little of the cream. However, I find adding the heavy cream in this recipe makes my filling too thin and I tend to omit it entirely.
To assemble the cookies, fill a piping bag (or snipped-corner plastic baggie) with the peanut butter cream and pipe a line of filling onto the bottom of one cookie and top with a second.
The cookies are now ready to eat. Though I do recommend you try them chilled. Store them in the freezer and pull them out to eat as needed.
The cookies will keep at room temperature for 3 days in an air tight container. If frozen, they'll keep for up to 4 weeks.