We came home from the hospital to a stocked fridge, thanks to my sister-in-law. She had bulked it up with all sorts of nourishing casseroles and goodies, including a bag filled with six chocolate peanut butter sandwich cookies. After lunch one day, I handed out the cookies to the kids for their snack before settling down on the sofa to eat mine with my coffee.
One bite and I was awash in regret. Why, oh why, had I shared the cookies? If I would’ve kept my big mouth shut and pretended they didn’t exist, the kids would’ve been none the wiser and I could have had them all to myself! But it was too late. The cookies were out of the bag, so to speak. So I settled for quickly tapping out an email recipe request to my sister-in-law in between bites.
She emailed right back. The recipe, turns out, came from my aunt’s cookbook. A quick skim of the recipe and I was on board. But from there, things went downhill. The recipe called for chocolate syrup of which I had none, and since I wasn’t about to run to the store for a bottle of sludgy chemicals, I had to make it from scratch. Then the recipe my mother recommended (from my aunt’s daughter’s—i.e. my cousin’s—blog) called for evaporated milk of which—you guessed it—I had none. So I had to make that, too.
At least I didn’t have to milk the cow.
The recipe did eventually come together, though. And one afternoon while a friend was visiting, I baked those cookies right up. My friend, bless her heart, took it upon herself to document the Jennifer-assembling-the-cookies moment with my camera. This is what I look like while making cookies and yakking my head off, thank you, friend.
The cookies remind me of whoopie pies, for obvious reasons (chocolate cookies with a filling, duh), but these—the cookie part, anyway—is completely different: chewy and tender, not at all cake-y. The cookies are rich and dark, and they do a dandy job of meeting the peanut butter-and-chocolate craving. The kids love them, my husband loves them, and I love them. Win.
Oh, and did I mention they’re one hundred percent whole wheat? ‘Tis true! ‘Course, doesn’t mean a thing, considering how sweet they are and all. But still, kinda cool.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from Baking With Whole Grains.
I recommend making a double batch. In fact, I recommend it so strongly that I’m doubling the recipe for you, right here, right now. Freezers and friends exist for a reason, though you probably won’t need either in the case of these cookies.
For the cocoa, I used Wilbur Dutch Processed Cocoa. It’s delicious and devilishly dark.
for the dough:
2 sticks, plus 2 tablespoons, butter
1 cup cocoa powder
½ cup chocolate syrup
¼ cup natural peanut butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole wheat bread flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the cocoa, chocolate syrup, and peanut butter and remove from heat.
Beat together the eggs and brown sugar. Add the cocoa-butter mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients. The dough will be slightly runny, like a thick brownie batter. Cover tightly and chill in the fridge overnight.
Dollop small scoops (or large, if you want giant cookies) of dough onto greased baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies should be set in the middle, but just barely. They are chewier if slightly under done.
Cool completely and sandwich together with the filling. Individually wrap cookies in plastic before piling them into a bag and freezing.
for the filling:
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup natural peanut butter
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
5½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
Beat together the butter and peanut butter. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. This makes plenty of filling—I even had a little leftover—so be generous when assembling the cookies.