Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

May 16, 2011 § 4 Comments

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When I stumbled across Joy the Baker’s Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies, I was instantly fascinated by the combination of Espresso and – what looked like – a peanut butter filling. These cookies would be perfect for my sister; Gina was a super picky child who ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches almost every day, but her tastes have become a bit more sophisticated with age. I thought a slightly refined version of a peanut butter sandwich would be great for her birthday. After reading through the recipe, I realized that the filling was actually a white chocolate filling so I made the Chocolate Espresso Cookies, not touching the recipe at all, but I put together a simple peanut butter filling in lieu of the white chocolate filling.

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The peanut butter was the perfect salty contrast to the not-too-sweet chocolate cookie. The espresso doesn’t come across very strong, there is just 1/4 tsp, but it gives the chocolate a great depth. The slightly crisp, yet still tender, cookie has a bite a lot like an Oreo, but the filling actually tastes good instead of weird and artificial. While roll-out cookies can be annoying, these cookies are definitely worth it.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies:
cookies, adapted from Essence of Chocolate via Joy the Baker:
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp AP flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour for the 3 Tbsp)
– 3/4 cup cocoa powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
– 15 tbsp butter (just less than 2 sticks), room temperature and cubed
– 1 1/2 cups natural peanut butter
– 2/3 cup powdered sugar
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients for the cookies in a medium bowl and mix with an electric mixer. With the mixer running, add a couple of pieces of butter at a time to the bowl, adding the next few pieces once you don’t see large chunks. Once all the butter has been added and the dough begins to come together (it will still be very crumbly), dump it onto a floured surface. Using a bench scraper, form the dough into a 5″x7″ block and then cut it in half. Roll out each block, pushing the dough together when it crumbles (it will crumble a lot, but it will come together the more that you work it; photographs of this process below). Use a 2″ circular cookie cutter to punch out discs and place on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12 minutes, turning the sheet around halfway through. After removing from the oven, allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for a few minutes so that they harden a bit and then move to a cooling rack. While the cookies cool, make the filling by combining the peanut butter, sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixture. Transfer the peanut butter filling to a pastry bag with any tip you choose – I used a large star tip. Pipe a small amount of the filling on the bottom of one cookie and place another cookie on top, squish down slightly.

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