It seems to be the simplest, most unpretentious foods that are the the ones we crave, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My favorite rendition is with crunchy peanut butter and sweet strawberry jam - or maybe orange marmalade when I'm feeling daring - on toasted, hearty wheat bread.
I really don't care for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at all if the bread isn't toasted. The peanut butter and jam melts into the hot bread, spilling out with each bite, and I can't imagine a more familiar comfort food.
I save every dollop of leftover buttercream I don't use after frosting a cake, freezing it in bags until an occasion presents itself where I might want a little buttercream without the effort of whipping up an entire batch. There seems to be an over-abundance of lemon buttercream in our freezer at the moment, although I'm not sure why, but it will be a good excuse to make something lemony soon, I think. However, it was the leftover strawberry rhubarb buttercream from last week's cake that caught my attention.
It snowed all weekend - almost non-stop from Friday through Sunday night - and so, I made cookies. There's no better occasion than an almost-blizzard to warm up the kitchen with pans of freshly baked cookies. Cookies brighten up the grayest of days.
The peanut butter cookies were perfectly chewy, some filled with a little dark chocolate buttercream, which were delicious, to be sure. But my favorites were the ones reminiscent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I topped swirls of strawberry rhubarb buttercream with a spoonful of tart raspberry jam, just using what I could find in the fridge, and the result was absolute perfection. I think an orange buttercream paired with the raspberry jam would be fantastic, too. Or maple buttercream with orange marmalade - how delicious would that be? Or maybe honey and bourbon. I want to try all the flavors.
I contemplated adding a spoonful of lemon curd on top of the dark chocolate buttercream, but in the end, decided against it, which I immediately regretted. I think it would have been amazing.
Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches
Baker's Note: The type of peanut butter you use, and the chilling of the dough, will affect the final result of the cookies. Note that in this previous recipe, I used an oil-based, not-all-natural peanut butter, as well as froze the cookie balls before baking - this resulted in puffier looking cookies, an appearance I prefer.
However, in today's recipe, I used an all-natural peanut butter (just ground peanuts), and did not freeze the cookies, which resulted in flatter cookies - I didn't actually mind this since I was making them into sandwiches.
The choice is up to you!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (see note above)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- buttercream and jam, any flavors
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add by spoonfuls with the mixer on low, then add the milk to moisten the dough. Refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375. Roll the dough into rounded spoonfuls, place two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten the dough balls slightly with your hand. Bake for 8 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Fill the cooled cookies with your choice of buttercream and jam. These are delicious kept chilled in the refrigerator!
Yields about 2 dozen cookie sandwiches.
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen