I am a fan of America’s Test Kitchen. While some of their recipes are needlessly fussy, they’ve got the science down pretty well. An example is the Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie recipe. They’ve figure out a way to maximize the peanut butter flavor molecules. My tweaks were basically to not bother with roasting my own peanuts and using crunchy peanut butter in place of creamy.
cups dry roasted peanuts, lightly salted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg
cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
FOR THE COOKIES:
Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pulse peanuts in food processor until finely chopped. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt together in bowl. Combine butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, milk, and egg in a stand mixer. Slowly pour flour mixture into peanut butter mixture until combined. Add peanuts and mix until evenly distributed.
Depending on the size cookies you want, you’ll be making about 36 cookies if you use a tablespoon of dough. I used more dough per cookies and only got 28. Using the back of a fork or damp fingers, flatten mounds until 2 inches in diameter.
Bake until deep golden brown and firm to touch, 15 to 18 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
FOR THE FILLING:
In the top of a double boiler, heat the peanut butter and butter until butter is melted and warm. Using rubber spatula, stir in confectioners’ sugar until combined.
Place half the cookies upside down on work surface. Place about a tablespoon of warm filling in center of each cookie. Place second cookie on top of filling, right side up, squishing the two cookies gently together until filling spreads to edges. Allow filling to set before serving, about 15 minutes.
The cookies are terrific by themselves, if you don’t want to fuss with the filling.