Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Peanut butter love...

I asked Jeff for some ideas on what to make for the Wednesday Treat Day this week. He puttered around, opened the refrigerator, looked through the pantry and just kind of had a blank look on his face - he then slowly worked his way out of the room... helpful huh? The next day, he came buzzing through the kitchen and handed me a jar of peanut butter and said "umm, this looks good - can you do anything with it?!" I kind of sighed a little, but at least he gave me a direction to go in!

I love peanut butter and trying to pin down one recipe to make was hard to do - I thought a chocolate and peanut butter combo sounded ideal, but then found this cookie that was peanut butter on peanut butter and I decided to throw out the chocolate idea (for now!) and go with these Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies.

Peanut Butter Sandwich CookiesWith almost a cup of peanut butter in the cookie part, the dough was quite soft and supple, but after giving it a needed rest in the refrigerator, it was easy to roll out and cut. I used a scalloped rectangle cookie cutter to divide out the dough, but using a sharp knife to cut them into that shape would work just as well. Instead of doing a criss-cross pattern on the cookies as a traditional cookie would have (not easy with this shape of cookie!), we gave the cookies some detail on top by scoring the tops with a fork. To make sure the cookies didn't spread too much or lose their shape, the baking sheet is placed in the refrigerator to firm the dough back up after working with it. The cookies are baked just until the edges take on some golden color and the center is firm.

Now, these are called sandwich cookies after all, so we are not done yet! A luscious filling is created by mixing a lofty amount of peanut butter with softened butter, heavy cream to smooth it out and confectioners' sugar to tighten up the fluffy mixture. The baked cookies by themselves are firm and almost crumbly, but not too dry - this is how you want them because they will soften slightly once assembled. Decadent and a little naughty (yes, I admit they are quite rich, but they are fairly small in the world of cookies!), these alluring sandwich treats should please any peanut butter addict.

Peanut Butter Sandwich CookiesThe wheels are already churning for ideas to change this up - maybe slather one side with the peanut butter filling and do the other with jam or how about a bit of sticky marshmallow fluff? Hmm... I need to find another reason to make these again! Oh, and if you happen to have a fancy peanut-shaped cookie cutter, then get ready to make a pretty close clone to nutter butters!

So much for saving the corn... I used another couple cups in tonight's dinner of this Black Bean, Rice, and Sweet Corn Salad. There is very little prep to get this dish together and the majority of the time used is waiting for the brown rice to cook. To give the rice a little boost in flavor, we simmered the floral grains in a combination of water and vegetable broth. As it cooks, a tangy dressing to coat the dish is made by whisking together fresh squeezed lime juice, extravirgin olive oil and garlic. The rice is added to the dressing, along with a couple cups of black beans, while it is still warm so it has a chance to drink in the bright dressing. Just before serving, the kernels of corn and a healthy dose of chopped cilantro is tossed in. I was a little worried about the rice lounging around in the ample amount of dressing - while it did absorb quite a bit, it didn't leave the rice mushy and there was still enough left to keep the mixture juicy. The energy from the lime juice was teetering on being overpowering, but the corn seemed to help tame the mixture as it burst, releasing its sweet flavor as I ate. This was intended to be a side dish, but we played around with the amounts and serving size to turn it into our entrée tonight.

Black Bean, Rice, and Sweet Corn Salad


  1. Are you sure you didn't buy these from the store?

  2. Emilie - I'm quite sure with all the work I put into them yesterday! :)

  3. As usual, Joe, these look delectable!

  4. as soon as our kitchen is finished, these cookies are on my list for Robin. She adores PB!!

  5. Randi - how much longer till you guys are done?