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Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies are filled with a rich & addicting peanut butter flavored Italian buttercream & topped with strawberry jam.

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When I was a little girl,  my metal Mickey Mouse lunch pail and the iconic peanut butter and jelly sandwich were the best of friends.  They were inseparable and you would be hard pressed to find one without the other. Come noon, the bell would sound and I would scurry down to the cafeteria . . . lunch pail in hand.  I would pull down the latch with a voracious appetite and flip open the lid only to find the two of them clinging to each other.  But as I grew older, the lunch pail was abandoned and my love affair with peanut butter and jelly faded.  And so the friendship became a distant memory.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies 16 (1 of 1)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

This love affair with peanut butter and jelly is not a story told by every young boy and girl.  The Mr. tells a far different tale. . . one in which Nutella is king.   You see, when he was just a little squirt he lived in Iran, a land where peanut butter was just a figment of the imagination.  At the age of 9, he moved to Italy where he quickly discovered and fell in love with Nutella.  It was a love affair so intense that he found himself consuming jar after jar with abandon. . . slathering it across everything he could get his hands on.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

But as you know, with every great love story there is heartache.  The Mr. moved to Oklahoma and was forced to unknowingly bid his beloved Nutella adieu.  This was many moons ago.  A time in which dinosaurs roamed the Earth (He!  He!  I couldn’t resist). . . a time before Nutella had made it’s glorious presence known in the U.S.  But the Mr.’s young mind was not aware of this tragedy as “yes” and “no” were the only English words he knew.

There he was. . . a young, frightened boy living in a land that couldn’t be any more foreign to him.  A land that lacked any sort of comforting familiarity.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

During his first week of school, he got his first glimmer of hope that everything was going to be alright in this new and foreign place.  Something of epic proportions caught his eye as he was standing in the cafeteria line.  The lunch lady was serving what looked like Nutella sandwiches. He immediately stepped up to the line and eagerly pointed at the “Nutella” sandwich (he still only knows “yes” and ” no” at this point).  He beamed with pride as he gingerly took his beloved Nutella sandwich back to the long lunch table.  He picked it up, and without looking, fervently took a bite.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Phhhhhh!  Blah!!!!! Yuck!!!!  He was dismayed and horrified to discover that the sandwich was not stuffed with rich and creamy Nutella, but in fact was filled with something that tasted like a mouth full of ground up nuts.  He immediately spit it out and didn’t eat the rest of the day.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Later  he found out this was a peanut butter sandwich. He swore he would never eat this disgusting thing called “peanut butter” ever again.   But that was a short lived vow as the Mr. and peanut butter became fast and furious friends.  Fortunately, Nutella is now stocked on almost every grocery shelf in the U.S. so the Mr. can now re-live gluttonous times spent in Italy.

So in honor of discovering and embracing a childhood favorite, I made this elegant adaptation of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

These Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies are the Grand Dame of peanut butter cookies.  Sure they might be a bit labor intensive as far as cookies are concerned, but look at them.    I can assure you that one bite into their sweet and salty goodness will convince you that it was worth every second.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

These Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies start with two crisp peanutty cookies that include a pinch of coconut flakes.   They are filled with a rich and addicting Italian meringue buttercream that’s been flavored with creamy, dreamy peanut butter, then topped with a dollop of berry jam.

Now to make these Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies, I used a 3 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter which yields 6 full cookies. I know, I know.  It seems like a lot of work for only 6 cookies (but see above paragraph).  But these aren’t just any cookie.  They are monster sized cookies.  So, if you are in the mood for something a bit more restrained, or have a bigger crowd that you would like to serve these to, I recommend using a smaller cookie cutter.  Or you could use small heart shaped cutters, like I did for my second batch, to yield the cutest, little bite sized Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Whatever you choose to do, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.  These Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies really are a true peanut butter lovers dream.   They are an elegant and sure fire way to impress those that are lucky enough to receive  one of these divine treats.

XOXO-

Lynn

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PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH COOKIES
These Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies are filled with a rich & addicting peanut butter flavored Italian buttercream & topped with strawberry jam.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
BUILDING BLOCKS
For the Peanut Butter Cookies:
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, preferably Skippy
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
For the Peanut Butter Buttercream*:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • berry flavored jam
THE COURSE
For the Peanut Butter Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.

  2. Spread the peanuts on a small cookie sheet & toast in the oven for 10 minutes, or until light brown.

  3. Coarsely chop peanuts when cool enough to touch. Set aside.

  4. Whisk flour, baking soda, & baking powder together in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

  5. Cream the butter & peanut butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until it has the consistency of mayonnaise.

  6. Add brown sugar & mix until fluffy (about 2 minutes).

  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl & add eggs & vanilla extract. Mix on low until just combined (20-30 seconds). Note: Do not over mix even if the mixture looks broken.

  8. With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture & mix for 15 seconds.

  9. Scrape the sides & bottom of the bowl & add the other half of the flour mixture. Mix for 15 seconds on low.

  10. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the oats & pulse on low until combined.

  11. Stir in the peanuts & flaked coconut.

  12. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate until the dough is firm (at least 2 hours, up to 2 days).

  13. Place the dough in between 2 pieces of parchment paper & roll out until 1/4 inch thick. Note: If the dough is too firm, allow to sit at room temperature about 10 minutes or until dough can be rolled out without cracking.

  14. Use a 3 1/2 inch round cutter to cut out cookies. Note: If the dough becomes to soft to cut, place it (still in between the parchment paper) back into the refrigerator until it is firm enough to cut.

  15. Transfer cookies to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Wrap the cookie sheet in plastic wrap & place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

  16. Form the scraps of dough back into a flattened disk. Wrap the disk with plastic wrap & place back into the refrigerator until it is firm enough to roll. Repeat the above until all the dough is formed into cookies.

  17. Position the racks in the upper & lower thirds of the oven.

  18. Pre-heat to 325° F.

  19. Bake the cookies on the top rack for 8 minutes, then rotate the cookie sheet 180 degrees & continue to bake on the lower rack for 8 additional minutes (or until golden brown).

  20. Allow the cookies to cool 10 minutes & transfer to a wire baking rack & allow to cool completely.

For the Peanut Butter Buttercream:
  1. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment & beat until soft peaks form.  Turn the mixer to the lowest setting to keep the egg whites moving while the sugar syrup is being made.

  2. Stir together 3/4 cup of sugar & 1/4 cup of water in a small saucepan.

  3. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and simmer the sugar mixture without stirring over medium- high heat until the it reaches 248º F.

  4. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat & turn the mixer on medium-low. While the mixer is running, slowly drizzle the sugar syrup into the egg whites.

  5. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and continue to beat until the bottom of the mixing bowl comes to room temperature (about 15 minutes). Note: This is important as adding the butter before the mixture sufficiently cools will cause the butter to melt.

  6. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch pieces.

  7. Reduce the mixer speed to medium & add the butter one piece at a time. Continue to beat until the buttercream becomes smooth and creamy. If at any time the buttercream starts to look broken, never fear, your buttercream is not ruined. Simply increase the mixer speed and beat until it comes back together.

  8. Combine 1 1/4 cup of buttercream, peanut butter & salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Note: The remaining buttercream can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days or frozen for up to a month.

  9. Mix for 2 minutes on medium low speed until smooth.

To Assemble the Cookies: 
  1. Place the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 3/8" star tip.  Alternatively, if you don't have a piping bag you can place the buttercream in a plastic bag and snip off the tip.

  2. Place 6 cookies with the top side down and pipe the buttercream evenly over the top.

  3. Gently spread a spoonful of jam over the top of the buttercream.

  4. Place the remaining 6 cookies on top.

  5. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Bring to room temperature before eating.

Recipe Notes

*  Makes 3 total cups of buttercream.  You will need 1 1/4 cup of buttercream for one batch of these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies.  You can use the remaining buttercream for additional batches or for your other baking needs.  


Slightly adapted from Thomas Keller’s Better Nutters recipe.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies - a rich & addicting peanut butter flavored Italian buttercream is sandwiched between two irresistible peanut butter cookies & topped with a dollop of strawberry jam. Perfect for Valentines day, school lunches or any time you need a peanut butter fix. Click for RECIPE.

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