About one year ago, when we experienced our first South Shore lockdown, I remember the supermarket shelves lacking my favorite baking items. No flour. No butter. I’d forage for items online.
The prices were super high or the “out of stock” words were sobering. The talk around town was, savvy bakers were scoring the fancy butter and premium flour. And, baking buffs, like me, went without like in the Great Depression.
Nowadays, my pantry is my pampered baby. I’m talking jars of peanut butter, all types of flour, and the fridge has my European-style butter. Lately, flourless cookie recipes are touted on TV and online. Three ingredients and the bakers promise a perfect peanut butter cookie. The other night, curiosity pushed me into the kitchen to give it go. The recipe was oh so easy. The results? Flat coin like circles — and the flourless wonders smelled like burnt toast. But I didn’t give up.
The next morning, I was on a mission. I baked a fresh batch of cookies. I did it my way. And yes, I had the essential ingredients. Nope, I didn’t go flourless, nor did I use my mom’s staples, such as margarine and baking powder. Before the cookies were baked, I knew I hit the jackpot. They looked pretty and plump. My inspiration came from surviving the pandemic days without my favorite baking goods.
Gourmet Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches
½ cup European-style butter
1 cup white granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 brown egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1//2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
¼ cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
Peanut Butter Frosting
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup European-style butter
2 tablespoons half and half
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
In a medium bowl, combine softened butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Add flour. Mix and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Form balls and roll into sugar. Place each ball onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool. In a bowl, combine butters, half and half, and sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy. Spread one cookie and top with another cookie. Repeat until peanut butter sandwiches are completed. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Makes about 6 to 8.
Serve with tea, coffee, milk or wine. These cookies are decadent. Forget flourless. The chewy and thick cookie itself is the perfect texture. The ginger gives it a spicy, molasses kick and scent to love. And with the frosting? Ah, once you savor one of these sweet delights you’ll feel like Goldilocks. It’s the perfect peanut butter cookie.
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, and Herbs and Spices.) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.