Friday, August 25, 2017

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Ganache

At the end of summer, I don’t work quite as much so it’s an opportunity to try recipes that take longer, or recipes with smaller yields. This recipe, although it has several steps, doesn’t take long. It does make a smaller yield, just 12-14 sandwich cookies. They are substantial cookies, so one fills you up, but this isn’t the recipe to make if you need to share with 2 dozen others. 

These cookies are flourless, which is nice if you are working to make gluten free treats. Just check to make sure that all the other ingredients are gluten free. The cookies come together beautifully, and come out of the oven picture perfect. When I am making sandwich cookies, I typically pair them up by size on the cooling rack, so I don’t end up with a big and a little cookie when sandwiching them together. Thankfully, these cookies were nearly all the same size.

When pairing the cookies, it is a bit tricky to get the ganache and the frosting the right consistency. You want the ganache to be spreadable, but not liquid, or the ganache will dribble all over the place. I did one cookie, it was too liquid, so I put the ganache in the refrigerator for a few minutes and that helped. You want the frosting to be somewhat stiff, but mine was a little too stiff and hard to pipe. I should have added a touch more milk, as the softer frosting is also stickier. As I said, these are substantial cookies, with great peanut butter flavor balanced with the slight bitterness of the chocolate ganache.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Ganache
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix on medium until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on medium to incorporate. Add the baking soda and salt and mix until the dough comes together.

Shape the dough into 1” balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten the cookies with a fork, making a crisscross pattern.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cookies are out of the oven, make the ganache: place the chocolate chips in a bowl. Microwave the heavy cream for about 1 minute, just before it boils. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside.

Make the frosting: in a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, stirring on low until combined. Add the milk and vanilla and stir to incorporate. If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk.

Assemble the cookies: spread half of the cookies with a teaspoon of cooled ganache. Pipe or spread the frosting on the other half of the cookies, and sandwich the cookies together.

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