Baked goods: Peanut butter overload

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I have a standard, go-to peanut butter recipe, and this isn't it. I found this somewhere and decided to give it a whirl. An officemate told me today that these taste like Nutter Butter cookies, but better. There is a decided divide between those who enjoy these cookies and those who don't.

Because I wanted to make very small, almost bite-sized cookies, I made dough balls that were just slightly larger than peas. And they still inflated to such a degree in the oven that it was almost irritating. Beyond that, making such small cookies meant that there was an insane amount of dough to use. I made the first batch and took them to work (and mailed some to Stockholm office) — refrigerated the other half of the dough to make cookies for later in the week. And that batch yielded enough to mail a TON of these sandwiches to the Tokyo office, some to a friend in Austria AND to bring some to the office yet again.

So… peanut butter cookies sandwiched together by peanut butter buttercream?! It's too much for the peanut butter haters out there, but for those who love…

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter (you could use crunchy if you really want)
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
about 2 tablespoons of milk (to achieve spreadable consistency)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
2. Cream butter, peanut butter and both types of sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
2. Add in vanilla and eggs, one at a time.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
4. Add dry ingredients to peanut butter mixture and mix to combine.
5. Roll into small (maybe 1″ balls — I made them very, very small because they expand/spread, and I wanted very small, mini sandwiches — and some of them still became too large), then roll balls in sugar and flatten each ball with a fork in a criss-cross pattern.
6. Bake for 4-5 minutes. Do not let cookies get brown. Cookies will be very soft when they are taken out of the oven.
7. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack.

To make filling, cream together the peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Add milk until consistency is easily spreadable but still thick. Spread backside of cookie with filling and top with another cookie. You can also use a piping bag to apply the filling.

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