peanut butter sandwich cookies, girl scout style

I have a confession to make. I really like peanut butter chips. Especially in peanut butter cookies. It’s the peanut butter version of double chocolate – two times the peanuty goodness. My strategy for guilt free enjoyment? Don’t read the ingredients. Ever. Open the bag, put the chips in a jar, and stop thinking about it. 
These cookies are my version of the Girl Scout peanut butter sandwich cookies I grew up eating. The cookie part is adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who adapted it from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook). They’re everything I want in a peanut butter cookie: crisp exterior, soft center, and lots of peanut butter flavor baked in between. I will caution you though, these cookies are sweet with a capital S. Make sure you have plenty of milk on hand to wash these down girls scout style.

On the peanut butter and the chips: This recipe calls for the aforementioned peanut butter chips, but if you’re not up for the hydrogenated oil intake, just substitute with some chopped unsalted peanuts or double the chocolate chips. Natural peanut butter works just fine in the cookies, but alas, commercial peanut butter does make a smoother and tastier peanut butter filling.
A fun idea for kids (or adults): Fill the cookies with good quality jam instead of the peanut butter filling to make a playful PB&J sandwich. If you opt for the jam, omit the chocolate chips from the cookie dough. 

For the Cookies

  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips (or chopped unsalted peanuts)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate (optional)
  • Granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add the sugars and mix until fluffy. Ad the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and then add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix until a dough forms. Mix in the peanut butter and chocolate chips
Drop the cookies by slightly rounded tablespoons (about 20 grams each) onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle granulated sugar generously on a dinner plate. Roll each cookie into a ball using your hands, and roll each ball in the sugar. Flatten the cookies slightly using the bottom of a glass or mug. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden. Do not over-bake. Cool the cookies on wire racks.

For the Filling and Assembly

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Cream together the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and mix until well incorporated. (If using a mixer, be sure to turn the mixer on slowly after adding the sugar to avoid a big mess.) Mix in the vanilla and salt and set aside.
Once the cookies are completely cool, spread 1 tbsp of filling (or use good quality jam instead) on the back of every other cookie and top with a second cookie. Cookies can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, but are best enjoyed within a week.