These peanut butter sandwich cookies are something special. For starters the filling uses up a whole jar of peanut butter so there are no complaints about a lack of peanut butter flavour. The biscuit is a wholesome mix of wholemeal flour and rolled oats. And don't just take my word for it, they're also "Sleepless in Seattle" writer Nora Ephron's favourite ever cookie. She visited Dahlia Bakery in Seattle and after buying some, wrote to the proprietor Tom Douglas to tell him that they were her all time favourite cookie. He asked if he could name the cookie after her in their upcoming cookbook named what else but "The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle."
Some people have asked me how I choose to feature or make certain recipes. It's pretty easy: I make things I want to eat. It's either greed or curiosity that feeds my recipe repertoire. And I absolutely love peanut butter with peanut butter and honey as my favourite combination. Peanut butter is nice with jam or American jelly but I find jam contributes a bit too much flavour to the peanut butter, obscuring the peanut flavour. Listen to me, I sound like I've thought about it too much doesn't it? Oh hang on, yes I have...
I don't usually use other people's recipes but I was so intrigued by my friend Marissa from Pinch & Swirl's claim that these were the best peanut butter cookies. I've tried so many peanut butter cookie recipes over the years. Some claim to be amazing but aren't. These are absolute beauties but it doesn't mean that my search is over. I have the taste of the peanut butter cookie that I want to make in my head and it's different. But these are very good indeed. I adapted the recipe by removing the white sugar completely and just using the brown sugar as I find some American recipes very sweet and drizzled the honey on top of the filling but you can add 2 tablespoons of honey in the filling if you want.
I was telling Nina about these cookies as I had made and photographed them just before meeting up with her for a training session. I was extolling the virtues of peanut butter when she wrinkled her nose. "I find that things don't taste very peanut buttery when I use it, like my smoothies don't really taste like peanut butter when I add it in."
I asked her about her smoothie recipe and it turns out that Nina was only putting in 1 teaspoon of peanut butter! I didn't dare tell her that I didn't work in teaspoons of peanut butter, I work in quantities of JARS of peanut butter like this recipe below! I guess that's why she is the trainer and I'm the client too lol ;).
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your chosen measurement for peanut butter? Teaspoon, tablespoon, cup or jar? Do you have a favourite ever cookie? And have you read any of Nora Ephron's books?
Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from the Dahlia Bakery cookbook via Pinch and Swirl
This recipe is best made ahead of time as it requires 2 hours refrigeration
For the peanut butter filling: - 1½ cups (400 grams) smooth peanut butter - 85g/6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened - 2 tablespoons powdered sugar - 1 teaspoon fine salt
For the peanut butter cookies:
- 225g/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup (125g) crunchy peanut butter
- ⅔ cup (150g) packed golden brown sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (180g) wholemeal plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⅔ cups (100g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- Honey to serve
Step 1 - In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the smooth peanut butter, soft butter, icing sugar and salt together for 3 minutes. Place in the fridge.
Step 2 - Using the same bowl switch to a beater attachment. Beat the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar for 3 minutes until pale and fluffy (scrape down the sides once or twice if you need to). Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each addition.
Step 3 - Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oats together. Add into the butter mixture in 2-3 lots. It will have the texture of frosting. Don't worry about this.
Step 4 - Line two baking trays with silpats or parchment. Using a small ice cream scoop or spoons scoop a walnut sized piece of batter onto the tray. You can place them close together as you are just refrigerating them now (and will transfer them once they've set hard). Refrigerate for 2 hours until set hard.
Step 5 - Preheat oven to 190C/380F and line two baking trays. Place the cookies about 1.5 inches apart as they will spread. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.
Step 6 - Match even sized halves. Take the cookie scoop and scoop some of the frosting and press down with an angled spatula. Drizzle a little honey on top. Keep in the fridge (the filling is quite soft).