Sunday, May 25, 2014

Nora Ephron peanut butter sandwich cookies

Last summer, my husband and I flew to Seattle for a conference. Technically, we were in Bellevue, but we were able to sneak away during the day to visit downtown Seattle. One bakery I had wanted to try was Dahlia Bakery. Tom Douglas is probably the most well-known chef in this Pacific Northwest city and owns Dahlia Bakery, so I knew I had to pay his store a visit.

I've made Dahlia Bakery's chocolate truffle cookies before, and they were amazing. When we visited the bakery, my husband bought the Nora Ephron peanut butter sandwich cookie and could not stop talking about how awesome it was.

I wanted to recreate the cookie for him, so I asked for the Dahlia Bakery cookbook for Christmas one year. My generous in-laws gave it to me for Christmas last year, and I finally cracked the book open to make these cookies for my husband and daughter (remember, I am an oddball and don't eat peanut butter).

Since I don't eat peanut butter, I had to rely on my husband to describe these for you. He said that the cookies were slightly dry, so check your cookies around the 11 minute mark so they don't overbake. I put one batch in for 11 minutes (instead of 12), and he said that they were much better. The cookies were a bit crispy on the edges but were still soft and chewy near the middle. The peanut butter filling was a big hit and complemented the cookie very well. My in-laws got to taste some and said that these cookies were wonderful. These were very peanut butter-y and got two thumbs up from everyone that tried them - including Addie.


Peanut butter filling
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (14 ounces/400 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 6 TBSP (3/4 stick/3 ounces/168 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 TBSP powdered sugar
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Peanut butter cookies
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (8 ounces/227 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (5.25 ounces/99 grams) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 TBSP (2 sticks plus 2 TBSP/11.25 ounces/320 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup (3.5 ounces/125 grams) crunchy natural peanut butter, stirred well
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/150 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the peanut butter filling. Mix well with a whisk. Cover and cool in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Then add in the salt and oats. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter, peanut butter, white and brown sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Turn the mixer down to low and add the eggs one at a time until each one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla and continue to mix.

Slowly add the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions and mix until just combined - do not over mix.

Use a cookie (or ice cream) scoop to portion out the dough onto a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. You may need two baking sheets. Place them close together and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

After the cookie dough has thoroughly chilled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange only 8 cookies on a parchment-lined (or Silpat-lined, like I did) baking sheet. Stack this baking sheet inside another baking sheet so it's double-panned.

Bake the cookies for about 6 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for an additional 6 minutes (12 minutes total) or until the cookies are golden. Bake the cookies in several batches.

Remove the cookies and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before filing them.

To fill the cookies, turn a cookie over and spread about 2 teaspoons of the chilled peanut butter filling onto the flat side of the cookie. Top it with another cookie, flat side down, and press gently. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling.

Cookies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep for up to a week. They can also be frozen and reheated.

Yield: I used a medium cookie scoop and got 41 cookies, which equaled 20 cookie sandwiches and one extra cookie for my husband to taste test

Source: The Dahlia Bakery cookbook, pages 130-132

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