The best part about my job is getting exposed to half a dozen new recipes a day. It’s rather like flicking through a new issue of Gourmet and thinking oooh that looks good only I see it in the flesh and then I get the instant satisfaction of actually getting to taste it. Not so good for the ever-nearing (230 days- gasp!) wedding waistline but my mouth is rarely disappointed with me. It’s often the devil and angel on the shoulder story although for me the devil’s fixed firmly to my face (or maybe it’s my greedy mits) and the angel flits around in my head and is hardly worth its halo. That saying: well I don’t get to eat this everyday sort of doesn’t work when one day its short ribs and the next is peanut butter pie. I eat a lot of salad when I’m not at work.
Don, though still remarkably svelte has gone up two trouser sizes since we met 4 years ago- poor guy, he never stood a chance. Dating me is like becoming a guinea pig- try this, taste this, what do you think of this? But then Don never had the less is more mentality in him either. He has two little devils and they sit in prime-viewing position, a little higher on his face. Right now he’s stretched out across the sofa cradling his full belly after the brunch we hosted earlier today. Freshly baked bread, courgette & feta fritatta, baked marmalade French toast, homemade granola, fresh fruit, bacon and pumpkin muffins- all on his plate, piled up like a Christmas dinner. You would think I starved him most of the time. I on the other hand after a ten mile run (the angel was momentarily in control) pre-brunch am trying to ignore the ever persistent tummy rumblings.
Now, back to that peanut butter pie I mentioned oh, 200 words ago. I raved last week about the guys over at Baked in my neighborhood Brooklyn and this week I’ve found myself unable to move on. Their peanut butter pie filling gave me the idea to use it as a filling between peanut butter cookies- something that I’ve been working on for months. What’s the second best part about my job? Stealing other peoples’ ideas Blog inspiration. The cookie recipe I stole from the talented Heidi over at 101 cookbooks who I have not had the pleasure of meeting but that doesn’t eliminate her from my recipe pilching- I’m ruthless. In both the filling and the cookies I’ve cut down on the sugar content because I like the salty taste of peanut butter and I think the sugar inhibits it. Pair the crisp salty peanut buttery cookies with a creamy sweet and slightly tangy filling and let’s just say it’s a happy-lie-on-the-sofa-and-clutch-your-belly-situation.
Peanut butter sandwich cookies
These are great on their own but who would choose one cookie when one could have two with a creamy filling?
Makes 32 cookies or 16 sandwich cookies
Diet Facts: I wish I could argue this one
For the cookies:
230g/ 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
265g/ 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
160g/ 1/2 cup maple syrup, runny honey or agave nectar
80ml/ 1/3 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
130g/ 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
55g/ 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
125ml/ 1/2 cup Tbsp heavy cream
1/ Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Make the cookies by mixing together all of the ingredients until well combined. Use a mini ice cream scoop to make balls of dough and drop onto a baking tray. You can either press these down now ( I like to use a glass) or you can do it two-thirds of the way through baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set and lightly golden (they will feel sandy to touch).
2/ While the cookies are baking/cooling make the filling. Beat the cream cheese to soften. Add the peanut butter, sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Beat a spoonful of cream into the peanut butter mixture and then fold through the rest until evenly combined. Chill until ready to use.
3/ Spread half of the cookies generously with the cream filling and sandwich with the remaining cookies. You will have more filling than you need, which I don’t think you’ll find to be much of a problem. Store in the fridge.