Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Malt Buttercream Filling
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If there’s one thing in life that I cannot keep myself from eating it’s a peanut butter cookie. It doesn’t matter if it’s creamy or crunchy, it’s going in my mouth along with a few of its friends. It’s a real problem when I’m trying to limit my intake of sweets, which is why I only make peanut butter cookies a handful of times throughout the year.
Somehow I’ve managed to go 1/4 through 2018 without making a single batch of these peanut butter sandwich cookies, which I’d say is evidence that I’ve shown a considerable amount of strength when it comes to this whole baking thing. I’d like to say that at this stage in my life, I’ve finally gotten the upper-hand when it comes to impulse baking.
Almost every woman I know knows what impulse baking is. It’s almost as if our brains and bodies refuse to function until we give in on that craving, whatever it might be. For some people, like my mother, it’s all about a super rich chocolate cake that invites the Cersei Lannister shame treatment after devouring a single slice by yourself. Not that shaming a woman for what she ate has ever worked.
The cookies themselves come from The Craft of Baking and while I’ve left the ingredients completely untouched, I prefer to pipe these cookies onto a sheet with a pastry bag for a couple of reasons.
I don’t have to get my hands dirty.
Cookies are consistent in size, which is vital for making sandwich cookies.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon lightly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons high-quality vanilla extract
Chocolate Malt Buttercream
2 tablespoons chocolate malt powder
1 tablespoon sweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons boiling water
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, (divided use)
2 tablespoons cup milk
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioner sugar
Preheat oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter and mix until just combined. With the mixer running on the lowest speed, carefully add the oil, vanilla extract, and egg, beating until combined, about 30 seconds. With the mixer running, carefully add the flour mixture until combined.
Pour mixture into a pastry bag, either using a tip or simply snipping off the corner and dollop mounds of dough that are about 1/2 thick and wide, spacing them about an inch apart.
Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom, front to back, until golden brown on the edges only. Remove from the oven and cool on sheets on wire racks.
While the cookies are cooling, make the chocolate malted buttercream filling. In a small bowl, combine the malt powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, instant coffee and boiling water. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar and milk, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Add the 4 ounces dark chocolate, continue whisking until the chocolate has melted. Pour the sugar mixture over the malt mixer, stir to combine and cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with the remaining brown sugar until light and fluffy, and the sugar no longer feels grainy between your fingers. Add the chocolate mixture, mixing until just combined and no streaks of butter remain. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the confectioners’ sugar in several additions, mixing until the buttercream is smooth and no chunks of confectioners’ sugar remain.
Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choosing, and pipe about 1 teaspoon of buttercream onto the flat side of half the cookies. Place another cookie, flat side down over the buttercream, to make a sandwich. Refrigerate the cookies for at least 30 minutes to allow the filling to set.