Peanut butter and chocolate are a great combination in any format. In many desserts, chocolate takes center stage and peanut butter adds a salty, supporting element. In these Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache, peanut butter is the star. The cookies are crisp, peanut butter cookies that are sandwiched together with a chocolate and peanut butter ganache. The result is a cookie that is reminiscent of a peanut butter cup, but with even more peanut butter flavor!
I’ve long been a fan of sandwich cookies, from the first time that I dunked an Oreo in a glass of milk (an experience that, I’m guessing, that many of us had as kids) to now. I like soft, frosting-filled whoopie pies and crisp wafer cookies filled with sweet creme. These Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache are in the latter camp.
The recipe actually starts off with a cookie that I first made some years back, though it has been a favorite ever since. The cookies are just about bite sized, with a good peanut butter flavor and a very crisp texture. The crispness of the cookie is a great contrast with the richness of the filling. The fact that the cookies are just about two bites each also means that the filling won’t squeeze out when you take a taste, which can be a problem with larger sandwich cookies.
The ganache filling doesn’t use any dairy, unlike most ganaches. Instead, it combines dark chocolate with peanut butter – and lots of it. This definitely makes it a non-traditional ganache, however the consistency is right where you would want it to be and the flavors are outstanding. I added a little extra salt to the filling (though my peanut butter was salted) just to bump up the salty-sweet contrast of the elements. The cookies are sturdy and don’t soften even after they have been filled, which is a nice bonus for this recipe. It makes a large batch (of small cookies), so store the leftovers in an airtight container until you’re ready to snack your way through them!!
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache
Crispy Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (national brand)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt, approximately
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, then gradually incorporate the flour mixture on low speed until the dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Shape dough into 1/2-inch balls (teaspoon-sized balls) and arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2-inches between cookies to allow for them to spread. Sprinkle cookies with coarse sea salt.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are very lightly browned and set around the edge. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes (cookies may fall slightly as they cool), then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 60 cookies.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache
3 oz dark chocolate*, chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter (national brand)
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 20-35 second intervals until smooth. Add in peanut butter and salt and stir until mixture is uniform and smooth.
Assembly: Divide the cookies into evenly matched pairs and spoon about 2-3 teaspoons of filling in between each pair, then firmly press them together to encourage the filling to spread evenly between the cookies.
*Note: Use semisweet chocolate or a mild dark chocolate (less than 65% cacao).