Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwich

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Chocolate Cookie
1.25 c. All-purpose flour
1/2 c. Premium cocoa
1 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 c. White sugar
1/2 c. + 2 tbsp Butter, unsalted at room temperature
1 Large egg

Peanut Butter Cream
1 c. Icing sugar
1 c. Chunky peanut butter, all natural, no sugar added
5 tbs Butter, unsalted at room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 - 1/3 c. Milk



For the chocolate cookies:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line two baking sheets with Silpat (silicone baking mat) or parchment paper.

Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.  Beat in the egg.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.  Stir until well combined.

Set up a bowl of water for moistening your hands.  (If you don't do this, the batter will stick to your fingers.)

Take a rounded teaspoon of batter and roll it gently into a ball with moistened hands.  Flatten the ball on the lined baking sheet and space the cookies about 1" apart.  Bake for 8 min.

Tip: Watch the cooking time carefully because the cookies burn easily.  Start with 7 min and go from there.

Allow the cookies to cool for 5 min before transferring them to the cooling rack.


For the peanut butter cream:

Beat together the sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt using an electric beater.  Once combined, slowly add the milk until smooth and the cream reaches your desired consistency.

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Tip: If you make the peanut butter cream first, you won't have to wash the beater before using it to make the cookie batter.  However, if you make the cookie batter first, you'll have to wash the beater part before you can use it for the peanut butter cream because the cookie batter contains raw eggs.


To assemble:

Try to match pairs of chocolate cookies by size.  When the cookies are cooled, divide the peanut butter cream among the cookies and make the sandwiches.

Serve with milk.

Makes 24 cookies, 12 sandwiches.


My comments:

One of the biggest problem with being on mat leave without a baby is that I have all day to explore recipes on Tastespotting.com.  I am convinced that recipes like this Oreo with Peanut Butter Cream is the reason my little babe refused to join the rest of humanity.  I mean, why on earth would he want to be born when he could eat yummy yummy desserts in my tummy whereas the moment he enters the world, he's officially cut off from decadent sweets for the next 3-4 years?!

These cookie sandwiches were easy to make and very good to eat.  I adapted the original recipe from Momma Hen's Kitchen to make them a little less sweet.  Also, the original recipe utilized a food processor to make the cookie batter which is a great idea but unfortunately for me, I don't own a good food processor.  I have a mini one that I used to prepare baby food but it's not very powerful and I doubt the batter will form properly in my mini.  So I made the cookie batter the same way I do with all my other cookies: beat the wet ingredients with an electric beater and stir in the dry ingredients by hand.  The stirring part was tough for my wimpy little arms but the cookies turned out great.

I like using all-natural peanut butter in my baking.  I don't know if the "all natural" part is indeed better for my health but I find that I have more precision over the sweetness of the bake goods because it does not contain added sugar.  I made a mistake in purchasing a crunchy peanut butter this time instead of the smooth and I was worried that my peanut butter cream would be weird.  But it turns out that the crunchy peanut butter really adds to the texture of the peanut butter sandwich.  I think I will make this with crunchy peanut butter again in the future.

One problem with an all-natural peanut butter is that the oil in the peanut butter separates when you first open the jar.  It takes time to stir and create a uniform consistency in the jar.  Depending on how well you incorporated the oil into the peanut butter, the thickness of your peanut butter may be vary from batch to batch.  This is important when you beat the milk into the peanut butter cream.  Always add the milk in slowly, perhaps 1-2 tbsp at a time, beat well before adding more.  This will ensure you do not add too much and end up with a runny peanut butter cream.

The best thing about these cookie sandwiches is that although they are not super-sweet, they are rich.  So one sandwich with a glass of cold milk makes a fantastic snack and I didn't feel like I need to go back for seconds.  Ok...not right away anyway.  :P  I made these in the morning and I only had 2 so far; that, alone, is quite an accomplishment for me.  :)

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