Soft, cake-like whoopie pies are so much fun to eat that they make me feel like a kid again – even though I didn’t really eat whoopie pies as a kid. That sense comes from the fact that whoopie pies are finger food and are often a bit mess to eat, as filling ineviatably squishes out from one side or the other and gets onto your fingers. These PB&J Whoopie Pies also have an additional tie-in to my childhood, as they’re a riff on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which was one of my favorite lunch options growing up.
The whoopie pies are made with a soft, tender peanut butter cookie that is stuffed with peanut butter and jelly. The cookies are quite cake-like, so you won’t get any of that dense, chewy texture that is often associated with peanut butter cookies. They have a nice sweetness to them and they help amplify the peanut butter flavor of the whole treat.
The whoopie pies actually remind me a little bit of Uncrustables – those individually packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – because of their size and shape. Granted, you can scale them down to make a smaller, bite-sized whoopie pie if you prefer, but it’s fun to eat a big, slightly messy cookie sandwich once in a while. I prefer to use crunchy peanut butter in my filing to add a little bit of texture to the whoopies, and I often pair it with grape jam or raspberry preserves. Use any flavor combination you like, however, and feel free to stick with smooth peanut butter if that’s how you like your sandwiches.
These are best within a few hours of assembly, so fill them the same day you are going to serve them and store them unfilled if you want to bake them a day in advance. They’re a satisfying snack and two or three can make a tasty – if slightly indulgent – lunch option.
PB&J Whoopie Pies
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup peanut butter, pref. smooth
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Peanut Butter, for filling
Grape or Raspberry jam/preserves, for filling
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in eggs, followed by peanut butter.
Blend half of the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture, followed by the buttermilk and vanilla. Blend in remaining dry ingredients until no streaks of flour remain and batter is well-combined. Batter will be more similar to cake batter than cookie dough.
Drop batter in 2 tbsp rounds onto prepared baking sheet, allowing room for them to spread.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are set and spring back when lightly pressed.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
To fill, pair cookies up. Spread one half of each cookie pair with a layer of peanut butter. Spread the other half with jam or preserves, concentrating it in the center of the cookie so it doesn’t run out if you squeeze it too firmly. Serve immediately.
Makes about 18 whoopie pies.