When I first opened my bake shop, I didn’t bake chocolate chip cookies. I was pretty adamant about this. My thoughts were that every single bakery, grocery store, and gas station sold chocolate chip cookies. Therefore, they weren’t that special. And, if you were walking into my shop I was going to give you a damn special cookie! But, when the people would walk in and walk up to the counter and order chocolate chip without even looking at all my super special cookies I had baked that day – I knew something had to give. I had to give the people what they wanted, and then maybe I could expand their minds afterwards.
So I created my Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies. They were unique enough that I didn’t feel like they were like every other chocolate chip cookie out there – but what I never expected was to actually love them myself as much as I do now! Seriously, I eat those cookies all the time! And when you really enjoy something, you want to make it even better – or different but still the same. You can find my traditional Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies recipe in my book Cookies for Everyone. But, today I am sharing a play on it with my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies.
I mean, nothing goes better with chocolate than peanut butter. So, I took my chocolate chip shortbread cookie and filled it with my peanut butter buttercream, which is probably my favorite frosting I make – and I’m not even a huge frosting person! So that is saying a lot. I will steal licks of this off a spoon, it’s that good!
Tips for Making the Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies
• Butter is key here, no joke. Your butter will make or break these cookies. Shortbread cookies are very simple, but sometimes the simple things can be most challenging to bake. Because shortbread cookies are so few ingredients, the ingredients really matter, and how to make it really matters. Because shortbreads are a simple cookie, it used to be one of the first cookies I taught employees to bake. But, when people were constantly fucking them up, I had to take a closer look – because to me, they are so easy! But, I realized 100% of the time – when these cookies got made incorrectly, it was because of the butter! So, listen to me here when I say the butter is super important! So, what is the butter secret to these cookies? Soft butter! If you have soft butter, these cookies are a breeze to make! So, let’s talk about exactly what soft butter is – it is room temperature butter that if you press your finger into it gently, it will leave an indent easily. It sounds very simple, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get this wrong. DM me a video of your butter if you are unsure and I will tell you yay or nay! The trick is getting the butter to that temperature and consistency. In the summer months (or warm months depending where you live) you can leave butter out on the counter overnight, and magically the next day it’s perfect for shortbread cookies! But, it’s in the colder months that it gets tricky. I still recommend leaving butter out on the counter during the winter, as it helps warm it naturally at room temperature. But, you may still need to microwave it. When you microwave butter, you should never be doing more than 10 seconds at a time per stick. Or if you’re doing a whole pound, 30 second intervals. This is so important! Because if you nuke butter in the microwave for longer than you should, portions of the butter (little pockets) can become completely liquid. That’s terrible for this type of cookie! So, this is your top priority with this recipe – the butter! Once you nail the consistency of your butter, these cookies are a piece of cake.
• Use high quality ingredients – because these cookies have so few ingredients, the ingredients really matter. My favorite butter is Organic Valley, but there are other organic ones out there that are also delicious. My favorite powdered sugar is Wholesome or Woodstock Farms. And vanilla extract is Simply Organic.
• When the dough is ready, it will feel like play dough in your hands. This is no joke, remember how smooth and silky play dough would feel? That is how this dough should feel! Moldable, soft, and smooth. If it doesn’t then there was a problem with your butter.
• These cookies should be buttery, crisp, and dense. If you bite into it and there are air pockets or any holes – guess what, your butter wasn’t soft enough. This is a tell tale sign your butter wasn’t ready to be used for these cookies. These should be dense and uniform when you bite into them with a buttery crumb. The consistency is a big deal here, as when they have those air pockets inside they are more crunchy instead of crisp and melt in your mouth, and they are not as good! It all comes back to the butter. Those air pockets and holes can come from butter that was melted or also butter that was too cold, therefore could not be mixed properly and didn’t disperse evenly leaving portions of the dough without the proper amount of butter.
• I use Ateco tip #864 for the filling, but you don’t have to use if you don’t have it or don’t want to. Totally optional!
• These should be stored in a cool dry place so they keep their amazing texture. Don’t put them in an airtight container or a cake dome as they will become soft. They should be left out on the counter, or if you live in a humid climate then stick them in the fridge.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies
Makes 18 sandwiches
1 cup (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened
142 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
255 grams (2 cups) organic all purpose flour
142 grams (3/4 cup) organic semi sweet chocolate chips
454 grams (3 cups plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic peanut butter
2 to 3 teaspoons organic milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined and you don’t see powdered sugar anymore, there will still be a few chunks of butter but that is okay because it’s very soft.
Add the flour and chocolate chips into the butter mixture and mix on low until combined and smooth. The dough should feel like play dough in your hands.
Using your hands, form the dough into 36 balls and place them on the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten each one slightly so they are about 1 3/4-inch in diameter.
Bake for 13 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheets.
To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the powdered sugar, butter, peanut butter, and milk and mix on low until combined. Speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Put in a piping bag with Ateco tip #864.
Turn over every other cookie so they are all paired. Pipe a swirl of filling onto each cookie and sandwich them together.
Store in a cool dry place, or in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Gluten Free – Replace the flour with 226 grams (scant 1 1/2 cups) organic gluten free flour blend and 57 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons) organic coconut flour.
High Altitude – Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until golden brown.