There is an amazing bakery in Anchorage, Alaska called the Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, a ritual stop when I visit my sister. On my last visit, she pointed to a peanut butter sandwich cookie and did an OMG groan. I bought one for the plane ride. Halfway back to Seattle, I took my first bite and was transported. Why didn’t I buy more?! It took a while to find a recipe that came close to matching it, but once again, Chef Tom Douglas came through. His nickname for the cookie? “The Nora Ephron.” Apparently, she made the same OMG sounds when she tried his too.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie
Note: Some of the metric conversions for this recipe were calculated incorrectly in both the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook and on Epicurious (to a flurry of annoyed reviewers). The conversions below are correct and have been recipe tested!!
Peanut Butter Filling
1-1/2 cups (400 g) creamy peanut butter, such as Skippy
6 T (85 g) unsalted butter, softened
2 T (14 g) powdered sugar
2 T (43 g) honey
1 tsp. kosher salt
To make the peanut butter filling, combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl using a whisk. Cover and chill the mixture until you are ready to fill the cookies.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1-1/2 cups (180 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-2/3 cups (150 g) rolled oats, such as Quaker old fashioned
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 T (255 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (90 g) crunchy natural peanut butter, such as Adams, well mixed
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (142 g) packed brown sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the oats and salt. Set the dry ingredients aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, chunky peanut butter, and sugars and cream on medium-high speed until very fluffy and pale, at least three minutes, scraping down the mixing bowl as needed.
Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate each egg and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients on low speed in 3 to 4 additions and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula, going all the way to the bottom of the bowl to mix in the dry ingredients well.
Use an ice cream scoop to portion all the cookies in 1-ounce scoops (or use about 1 heaping tablespoon per cookie), placing the scoops on a parchment lined baking sheet. You should have about 48 cookies. (You can place all the cookies close together for the chilling step—you will space them for baking later.) Chill the scooped cookies for at least 2 hours or longer.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange 8 cookies, spaced evenly apart and staggered, on each parchment-lined baking sheet. (Note: Do not flatten the cookies; they will flatten as they bake.) Set the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to double pan and place it in the oven. (I tried it with just one sheet and they got overdone on the bottom).
Bake until evenly golden, about 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. If you have 2 double-panned pans in the oven at the same time, also switch them between the racks. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing the cookies with a metal spatula. Allow the cookies to cool completely before filling them.
To make a cookie sandwich, turn one cookie flat side up and spread lightly with the filling. Top with another cookie, flat side down, pressing gently. Repeat until all the cookies are assembled into sandwiches.
Adapted from the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance.