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A creamy strawberry jam filling is sandwiched between two thick and chewy peanut cookies in this riff off a childhood favorite.
Oh grow up! That is a phrase that is almost never welcome, even if it’s deserved. I never liked to hear it as a kid, a teen, and definitely not as an adult. It’s the one thing that “they” never tell you about getting older….just because the years tick by physically, it doesn’t mean your brain is necessarily on the same page.
Honestly, I keep waiting for the day that I’m going to feel my age. And I’m not talking about being and acting responsibly, I mean simply feeling like the number. Remember when you were a kid and you thought of your teachers, relatives, or your parents as ancient in their 20’s, 30’s and <gasp!> their 40’s? They seemed all knowing, often boring, and usually tired.
I’ve hit the age when I’m supposed to be turning the volume down instead of up and complaining that today’s youth doesn’t understand music (okay, so that happens sometimes). I should be rocking a short, “mom” haircut and definitely not be wearing jeans with holes at the knees. I should know by now that if I stay up past 2 am, I’ll be ornery and miserably tired in the morning.
I should have learned from experience. I should be able to help my 7th grader with his math. I shouldn’t laugh harder than my pubescent boys when I hear the word balls and I should not be eating cake for breakfast. But alas, I still have much to learn and (to quote The Bachelorette, which as a side note I should definitely not be doing) I should be at my peak emotional intelligence.
Well at least my palate has developed and matured faster than my brain, although I still enjoy certain “kid foods”. As much as I love an eight course tasting menu at a fancy restaurant, I still crave the occasional bowl of mac n’ cheese, an extra crispy chicken finger or a solid PB&J. But since I’m unwilling to grow up, I’ve decided that one of my childhood favorites should. Today I’ve got a recipe for peanut butter and jelly sandwich cookies that is a twist on the classic.
The cookies are thick with soft centers and a pronounced peanuty flavor thanks to a big scoop of chopped dry roasted peanuts folded into the dough. Now you can stop right here and be satisfied with just the cookies, but if you want the whole PB&J effect, then go ahead and give the filling a try. It’s not jelly per se, but instead a sweet, fluffy filling flavored with strawberry jam. No it’s not as easy as slapping some peanut butter and jelly between two slices of bread, but it is worth the effort. And grown ups make the effort, right? And I promise I won’t tell if the kid in you decides to have one (or a couple) for breakfast.
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts finely chopped
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling the dough in before baking
- Strawberry Jam Filling
- 2 cups marshmallow fluff
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1/3 cup strawberry jam
- 1 cup heavy cream
Peanut Butter Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat butter, peanut butter, sugars and salt together until light and very fluffy, about 3 mins.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
Add the flour, baking soda and baking powder and beat on low speed until just combined.
Fold in the chopped peanuts.
Divide the dough into 28 balls (I use a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop). Roll the balls in the granulated sugar and place 8 balls on each baking sheet. (You will repeat with the remaining balls once the first two sheets are baked.)
Use the tines of a fork to make a cross-hatch pattern on each cookie, being careful not to flatten too much.
Bake the cookies until they are just set, about 12 mins, being careful not to overbake.
Let the cookies cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat with the remaining balls.
Strawberry Jam Filling: Beat the fluff, cream cheese and jam together until well combined, about 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the jam mixture until just combined.
Make the Sandwiches: Match up the cookies so the bottoms fit the tops and then turn the bottoms over. Spoon or pipe filling into the center of each bottom cookie, leaving a little space around the edge. Place the tops over the filling, press slightly, eat and enjoy!