It’s been raining here since yesterday, and apparently it’s supposed to keep raining through Monday. Quite a change from the beautiful sunny weather I was enjoying earlier in the week! My Saturdays are generally low-key – I’ll do my grocery shopping, clean (maybe), hang out with people… just generally veg and enjoy a day of not having to do anything specific. All through this past week, I was trying to figure out what I could make with some leftover lemon juice & zest I had from another recipe. I was initially thinking lemon curd, and then make a cake roll with that as my filling. But then the yolks that I had frozen were a bit rubbery when they thawed – ew! – so I decided to hunt for something else, and found a recipe for Lemon Whoopie Pies. The only whoopie pies I’ve had recently are what you normally think of – two chocolate cakey cookies, with a fluffy buttercream frosting in between, courtesy of my uncle, who started Chococoa Baking Co. a couple of years ago. So I was intrigued by the idea of a lemon cookie with with lemon frosting – it sounded amazing! I make the cookies, went shopping, and sat down to wait for the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature for the frosting. But then I became impatient, so I decided to help them along by sticking them in the microwave for about 10 seconds… and then I made the frosting. It seemed a little softer than it should be (probably because I decided to help the butter & cream cheese soften :)), so I followed Joy the Baker’s advice and put it in the fridge for a little bit. Not all of my cookies were the same size, although I thought I had used the same amount of batter for each one, so while I was waiting for the frosting to harden up a little, I went through and matched them up. Yes, I am just that particular. I dolloped the frosting on half of the cookies, placed the other half on top, and voila!
They are awesome. And with a cream cheese frosting in the middle, you really can’t go wrong. Soo! good. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the leftover frosting. It seemed a shame to just get rid of it, so I saved it. But I’m not really sure what I can do, other than sneak spoonfuls of it occasionally over the next week… that might have to suffice. 😛
I was going to just let it go at the whoopie pies, and do something more productive with the rest of my afternoon, but I had seen a recipe in a recent issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine for milk chocolate cookies with a peanut butter frosting in the middle that I really wanted to make – the recipe claimed to taste like a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Who can resist that?? So I got everything set for recipe #2.
Peanut Butter-Stuffed Milk Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups (15 ounces) milk chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, and divided
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium, microwavable bowl, melt together 2 cups chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons butter on medium power until almost melted, about 1 1/2 minutes; stir just until smooth.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla at high speed until thickened and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate at medium speed; whisk in the flour mixture. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough until firm enough to scoop, but still soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Onto each prepared pan, drop 12 rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart. Bake, switching and rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cookies appear bubbly and still soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the peanut butter. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; beat until fluffy. On the flat side of each of 12 cookies, spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture; sandwich with the remaining cookies.