Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookie Cream Pies

Hey, everyone!  I hope you all had a great July 4th weekend!  We got home late last night from North Dakota after 5 days away, and fortunately I also had today off work to catch up on a few things at home.  I brought home fresh rhubarb from Jamie's parents' garden, so later today, I'll be working on a few rhubarb recipes.

Meanwhile, I've been wanting to write a post about these cookies since our camping trip the weekend before.  Thinking about these cookies is a welcome distraction since, as I'm writing this, I'm eating my usual boring and bland breakfast of unsweetened oatmeal with protein powder.  :(

There's a BIG sugar rush ahead with these cookies from the super sweet white chocolate cream filling.  But a sugar rush is definitely needed after sleeping in a tent all night, right?  :)

I've been making these peanut butter cookies for years, usually making them small enough to be a two-bite cookie, topped with a Hershey's kiss, and they're always a hit.  While I was teaching English in China, I decided to make a treat for my students, and these were my cookies of choice.  Chinese aren't big on baking, so my apartment came equipped with just a small confection oven that would only bake 6 cookies at a time.  When you consider that I had 10 classes ranging from 20-30 students each....  you do the math on how long it took me to make enough cookies for them each to have a couple!  (Like the time I decided to make them each their own decorated boiled egg for Easter--the egg lady down the road looked at me like I was nuts when I came to buy a few dozen eggs every night for a week...)

For the camping trip, I made these cookies a little bigger, and filled them with a thick cream filling--once assembled, they looked remarkably like Oatmeal Cream Pies, even though that wasn't my intention.  But it got me thinking, how good would a Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookie be?

Another time, another camping trip though...

Try these cookies--I KNOW you'll love them.  Think of soft peanut butter cookies filled with white-chocolate cream that's reminiscent of the cream filling in Oreos...  you'll have a hard time eating just one.

Printable Recipe

Peanut Butter Cookies
  • 1cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (note that "natural" peanut butter doesn't work as well for baking)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
White Chocolate Cream Filling
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Combine both sugars and the butter in a large mixing bowl; using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat for at least 5 minutes until creamy and fluffy.  Add the peanut butter and beat well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.  Add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the flour mixture and milk to the batter, alternating flour and milk until both are added.  Stir just until combined.  Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

Shape the chilled dough into balls with your hands, and place two inches apart on a greased baking sheet (12 small cookies per sheet or 8 large cookies per sheet).  Bake at 375 for 6 1/2 - 7 minutes, just until edges are starting to brown.  Cool for one minute on the baking sheet, then transfer to a sheet of waxed paper on the counter and cool completely.  Cookies will be very soft, and may appear to be slightly undercooked in the center, but trust me, this is how they should be.  They'll finish setting up as they cool, and will remain soft and delicious.

Once the cookies are cool, make your frosting.  Melt the chocolate chips using a double boiler, or in the microwave, stirring often.  Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add the butter.  Begin adding the powdered sugar and milk, alternating 1/4 cup powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon of milk, until you've reached a desired consistency.  I made mine very thick.

Turn over half of the cooled cookies.  Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the frosting onto the bottom of the cookies--it will be too thick to spread, so don't even try.  Place a second cookie on top of the frosting and press down to spread the frosting out to the edges.  Store in airtight Tupperware or ziplock bags to keep fresh--they will stay soft and fresh for days afterwards.

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