|The hardest part was shaping the log of dough.|
The recipe has shredded wheat crumbs for a nice crunchy texture, but it tended to make the surfaces of the cookies a little rough.
They held their shapes pretty nicely.
Recipe (adapted from The Grand Central Baking Book)
Cookies (makes about two dozen sandwich cookies):
1-3/4 C all-purpose flour
crumbs from pulverizing 1 C shredded wheat
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
2/3 C peanut butter
1 egg, at room temp
1 t vanilla extract
Combine first four ingredients and whisk together. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium speed for 3-5 min. Add peanut butter and continue mixing for another minute. Reduce speed to low and add egg and vanilla, beating just until combined, then add dry ingredient mixture and continue to beat until dough forms into a clump (about 3 min).
Optionally, chill the dough for about 30 minutes to make it easier to form. Divide the dough into two logs about 8-10 inches long, shaping cross-section into oblong oval (or as desired). Wrap logs and chill at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice log into 1/4" cookies, reshaping if necessary before placing on sheet. Place about 1/2 - 1" apart and bake for 15-20 min. Cookies should be dry and firm to touch. Let cool completely before applying filling.
2 T unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 t salt
2 T heavy cream
In stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix first four ingredients on low until combined, then add cream and beat for 1 min on medium. Add more cream if needed to achieve spreadable consistency. Apply a dollop to an inverted cookie and cover with another, pressing gently to spread filling to edges. Eat.
The cookies have a nice, light crunch, and a good, sweet peanut flavor, which the filling compliments nicely. I used creamy peanut butter for both the cookies and the filling, but crunchy would definitely work for the former. The trick with the shredded wheat crumbs is from Nic's mom. I love the additional "micro-crunch" texture it gives. The filling squishes out a bit the cookies are eaten, but if allowed sit at room temperature for a few hours, it solidifies a bit more. At Nic's suggestion I tried a chocolate filling, which I think might have worked pretty well if I could have created a little less of a liquid consistency with it. Next time.