These aren’t just any Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies; they were Nora Ephron’s favorite. The Norah Ephron – writer of Sleepless In Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. The story goes that while visiting Seattle, Nora stopped in to the Dahlia Bakery and bought a few of these cookies. Then she sent Tom Douglas an e-mail to say that they were her all-time favorite cookies and could she have the recipe. He sent the recipe along with a big package of cookies and later asked if they could name the cookies after her in the Dahlia Bakery cookbook. I love her response:
Are you kidding me? This may be the greatest cookie ever ever ever.
I have to agree, not just about these Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, but about every cookie (or sandwich, or soup, or pie) I’ve tried at the bakery. Now I can say the same about everything I’ve made from the cookbook. The recipes are no-fail and, really, are nothing short of heavenly.
These sandwich cookies are the second cookie I’ve shared from the book, the first being Chocolate Truffle Cookies, and you may have also run across the Nora Ephron cherished recipe here. The main change I’ve made is to replace the all-purpose flour with whole grain flour because I like the substantial texture and, of course, the nutrition it adds. But the genius of these recipes I attribute to the cookbook authors Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance alone. And I highly recommend that you add the Dahlia Bakery cookbook to your collection; it’s loaded with sweet and savory secrets that may become your favorite recipes, as many have become mine.
How to Make Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
When you make these cookies, you’ll want to start the process several hours before you plan to bake them. The filling and cookie dough need to be refrigerated for a couple of hours ahead of time.
Once the filling is chilled and the cookies have cooled, it’s fun to assemble the cookie sandwiches.
You just scoop a generous dollop of filling onto one cookie, bottom side up, and top it with a second cookie, bottom side down. Then carefully press the top cookie down to spread the filling and that’s it!
Try these peanut butter sandwich cookies and I bet you’ll whole-heartedly agree with Norah that they may be the best cookies ever ever ever.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
For the peanut butter filling:
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (400 grams)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the peanut butter cookies:
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour such as King Arthur brand, (180 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 2/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (99 grams)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter (125 grams)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar (150 grams)
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the peanut butter filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all filling ingredients. Mix on medium speed until creamy and fully combined. Transfer mixture to another bowl; cover and refrigerate.
Clean and dry stand mixer bowl.
To make the peanut butter cookies:
Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a medium bowl; whisk to combine. Whisk in the oats. Set aside.
Add butter, chunky peanut butter, and sugars to the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, occasionally scraping down the bowl.
Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and add eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down bowl and add vanilla extract; mix until combined. Add dry ingredients in 2 or 3 additions and mix just until combined. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape down sides with a rubber spatula, being sure to incorporate any dry ingredients still in the bottom.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
You'll be chilling these scoops, so place them close together (not touching). Scoop out dough with a 1-tablespoon scoop. Place scoops on prepared baking sheet. You'll have about 48 cookies. Refrigerate scooped cookies at least 2 hours.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 375°F.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and create a double pan by setting it inside a second baking sheet.
Arrange 8 to 12 cookies on prepared baking sheet (number depending on the size of your sheet) , leaving an inch or more of space on all sides of each cookie (cookies will spread during baking). Bake until golden, about 12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through the cooking time. When golden, remove from oven and cool on wire rack 10 minutes before transferring cookies to cooling rack with a spatula. Repeat with remaining cookies.
Allow the cookies to cool completely before filling them.
To assemble cookie sandwiches:
Turn one cookie bottom side up and scoop a little less than 2 teaspoons of peanut butter filling into the middle. Top with another cookie, bottom side down, and press gently to spread filling. Repeat to assemble remaining sandwich cookies.
Cook time does not include refrigerating dough after scooping.