Peanut Butter Cookies With Peanut Butter Filling

December 7, 2020 Updated: December 7, 2020

I was a Girl Scout for three years of my childhood, and to me, the best part of that adventure was the peanut butter sandwich cookies filled with even more peanut butter.

I’ve tried to mimic the flavor memory here while making a few subtle changes: The cookie base is softer, there is a (much-needed) layer of chocolate, and the filling spills out instead of barely covering the cookies. I think it’s a step in the right direction.

Makes 12 sandwich cookies

For the Cookies

  • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons (311 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (215 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (105 grams) candied peanuts (optional, recipe follows)

For the Filling

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (107 grams) peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (240 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted

For the Cookies

Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line three sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown and granulated sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat on medium speed until fully combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Stir in the candied peanuts, if using.

Form the dough into 1 1/2-ounce balls (2 tablespoons). Place 8 cookies on each sheet pan, and use the tines of a fork to make a crisscross shape over the top of each one (the cookies will flatten slightly when you do this, but you don’t want them to flatten too much).

Bake one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Bake until the cookies have spread and the edges are set, 9 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely on the pan. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

For the Filling

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the peanut butter and mix again on medium speed, until combined and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, and mix on low speed until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed until combined, then increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until light and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary.

To Assemble

Spread a thin layer of the melted chocolate over the bottom of half of the cookies, and let the chocolate set at room temperature. Once set, spread or pipe 2 tablespoons of filling over the chocolate. Top with the remaining cookies, pressing gently to adhere them together. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.

Candied Nuts

  • 2 cups (280 grams) walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews, or almonds
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet over medium heat, stir together the nuts, sugar, and salt. Cook until the sugar begins to melt and the nuts begin to toast, stirring almost constantly. Once the sugar begins to melt, turn the heat down to low and cook until the nuts are lightly caramelized. Pour the nuts onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Let them cool completely before chopping. Nuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

All recipes reprinted from “100 Cookies” by Sarah Kieffer, with permission by Chronicle Books, 2020.