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How-To

The Only Peanut Butter Cookie You’ll Ever Want

For a double hit of flavor, sandwich a chocolate-flecked peanut cream between crunchy-light cookies

Fine Cooking Issue 43
Photos: Amy Albert
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Peanut butter and a good cookie are two of my favorite things, so for me, combining them is a natural. The trouble is, the traditional round peanut butter cookie with the crossed-fork imprint never really thrilled me. So I decided it was high time to develop my own version. I knew I wanted more, and I wanted it in a sandwich cookie: crunchy-crumbly peanut butter wafers surrounding a creamy filling flecked with roasted peanuts and chopped chocolate.

Use smooth peanut butter (yes, from a jar)

The reason this peanut butter cookie is head and shoulders above the others is that it’s a hefty sandwich cookie with great peanut flavor in both the filling and the cookie.

For the best texture in both components, I recommend smooth peanut butter, for a couple of reasons. The chunks in chunky-style don’t give as tender-crumbly a texture in the finished cookie. Also, I like to make my own chunky filling by stirring in roasted chopped peanuts— the peanut bits in chunky peanut butter don’t hold a candle to chopping your own.

I’m usually a stickler for artisan ingredients, but with the peanut butter for these cookies, I make an exception and use a jarred peanut butter like Skippy, which makes delicious cookies. I’ve tried freshly ground peanut butter from the health-food store—although it’s terrific on sandwiches, it turns out a gloppy cookie filling.

The crowning touch for these cookies is the chopped chocolate in the filling (a shameless tribute to Reese’s cups). My recipe calls for dark chocolate, because that’s what I like, but if you prefer milk chocolate, use that instead.

If you feel like assembling these cookies ahead, they won’t get soggy—even filled—and they’ll keep in the refrigerator or at room temperature for a couple of days. That’s as long as I can vouch for, though—these peanut butter cookies never hang around my kitchen any longer than that.

When it’s time to add the flour, stop the mixer. Stir it in by hand to avoid overmixing the dough.
Instead of cross-hatching with a fork, use your fingersto press and decorate.
For a textured filling, stir in peanuts and chocolate, “a tribute,” says Linda Weber, “to Reese’s cups.”
An offset spatula is handy for spreading the cookie filling easily and evenly. A blunt table knife works, too.

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