Trick or Chocolate Peanut Butter Treats?Posted: October 30, 2011 | |
Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? And, who doesn’t love a good Oreo cookie?
Did you know that Oreo has dozens of varieties now? Mint crème. Golden. Strawberry. Double, triple, quadruple stuffed. It blows my mind.
Also, did you know that you can make your Oreo cookies at home? It’s not a trick. It’s true. They’ll make for a great birthday or Halloween treat, too.
What inspired me to make these treats was a new cookbook I got a few weeks ago. I’m a huge fan of Cooks Illustrated, so when I got a deal on Baking Illustrated, I snatched it up. It’s over 500 pages of amazing recipes for breads, cakes, tarts, pastry and something called icebox cookies. Icebox cookies are crispy, wafer-like cookies that get their name because you form the dough into a log, chill it in the fridge and then slice it before you bake. You can eat the cookies just like that, or make a filling and create fun little sandwich cookies. Or, your own Oreos if you will.
These cookies are easy, but there are several steps that do take some time, especially the chilling part. And if you decide to fill them, the cookies should be completely cool. I made these over the course of three days. It could have been done in one day, but I needed them for a Friday night party and that pesky thing called “work” prevented me from baking all day.
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
For the cookies:
– 2 cups of flour
– ¼ cup cocoa powder
– ½ teaspoon of salt
– 2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
– ¾ cup of sugar
– ½ cup of powdered sugar
– 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted & cooled
– 2 large egg yolks
– 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
For the filling:
– 1 cup of smooth peanut butter
– 1 cup of powdered sugar
– 4 tablespoons (½ stick) of unsalted butter)
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together. Add the yolks, vanilla and semi-sweet chocolate. Add the flour mixture a little at a time and beat on low until dough forms. Scrape the sides of the bowl and the beaters with a rubber spatula because the dough might clump together. The dough should be soft but not sticky, almost like Play-Doh. (If it’s sticky, chill it for 10 minutes.)
Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time on a clean surface, roll the dough into a 6 inch long log, about 2 inches thick. Wrap each log in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
When you’re ready to bake, heat your oven to 325º.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the logs one at a time and cut the dough into ¼ inch slices. To prevent the dough from flattening, roll the dough an eighth of a turn after every slice. Place the sliced dough on the baking sheets. Bake one sheet at time for 14 to 15 minutes, rotating tray halfway through. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
You could eat the cookies as is — or make a real treat by filling them with peanut butter cream.
To make the peanut butter filling, beat the peanut butter, powered sugar and butter until fluffy. Add a small amount of filling to half of the cookies. Place another cookie on top and gently press the two cookies together. Repeat until all sandwich cookies are made.
Because I made these for my friend Wendy’s birthday, I put them in a glass jar so she could have her own private stash. The rest of our friends at her party got to enjoy what was left, and they seemed to be a hit. I even used some orange gel icing to decorate them. The chocolate cookie was crisp but not hard, and the peanut butter filling was sweet and creamy. I think I could eat a bowl of that just by itself.
Happy Birthday, Wendy! And, Happy Halloween, people!