Bake or Break

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Creme Filling

If you’re looking for a cookie that’s sure to impress, look no further than these crispy Peanut Butter Cutout Cookies! With the addition of rich chocolate creme sandwiched between them, they’re a peanut butter lover’s dream!

Stack of 3 peanut butter sandwich cookies with chocolate filling

Easy Peanut Butter Cutout Cookies with Chocolate Creme

I first discovered this recipe for Peanut Butter Cutout Cookies from The Baking Sheet, the newsletter from the good folks at King Arthur Flour. While there’s an alternate vanilla creme filling in the original, we all know that chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination, so clearly there’s no question that the chocolate creme is the way to go.

These cookies will be welcomed any time of year for most any occasion or no occasion at all. While there’s nothing inherently Christmas-y about these cookies—no peppermint or festive sprinkles!—they’re definitely an excellent addition to a holiday cookie platter because they’re rich, decadent, and they even look impressive. You can use a holiday-themed cookie cutter if you like, but don’t use anything too fussy—lots of details can make it hard to add the chocolate creme without making a mess!

Overhead view of peanut butter cutout cookie ingredients

What You’ll Need

If you don’t want to make these into sandwiches, you can skip the filling ingredients. Dipping the finished cookies in melted chocolate works too, or just enjoy them as-is!

For the cookies:

  • Unsalted butter – Take the butter out of the fridge about half an hour before baking to allow it to soften properly.
  • Creamy peanut butter – I don’t recommend using natural peanut butter for recipes like this.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla extract
  • Egg – The egg should also be room temperature.
  • Heavy cream or sour cream
  • Cornstarch
  • All-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • Unflavored gelatin – This helps solidify the filling.
  • Cold water
  • Vegetable shortening or butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder – This type of cocoa powder is darker in color and less acidic than natural cocoa powder.
  • Confectioners’ sugar

How to Make Peanut Butter Cutout Cookies With Chocolate Creme Filling

If you want to break things up a bit, you can make the cookies a day or two in advance, then make the filling and assemble.

To make the cookies:

Make the cookie dough. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, and vanilla. Once these ingredients are well-mixed, beat in the egg, followed by 1/8 cup of cream, the cornstarch, and 1 & 1/2 cups of flour. When these ingredients are incorporated, beat in the remaining cream and flour.

Overhead view of two rounds of cookie dough wrapped in plastic

Chill the dough. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half slightly. Wrap the halves in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour.

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. 

Cut the cookies. Unwrap the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, then roll each half of dough into a 1/8- to 1/4-inch circle. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut the dough, and place the cut dough on the prepared baking sheets. You can gather up the scraps, roll them out again, and continue to cut cookies until you can’t make any more.

Bake. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set, but not browned. 

Overhead view of peanut butter cutout cookies on parchment paper

Cool. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer them to wire racks to finish cooling. (Learn more: Why Every Baker Needs Wire Cooling Racks)

To make the filling:

Dissolve the gelatin. Combine the gelatin and water in a small heat-proof cup or bowl, then place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water to gently warm the gelatin and water mixture until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is clear. Remove the bowl or cup from the hot water and let it come to room temperature until cooled but not set.

Combine remaining filling ingredients. In a mixing bowl, beat the shortening (or butter) with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, then slowly beat in the vanilla, cocoa, and confectioners’ sugar. Add the gelatin and mix well.

Assemble. Spread the filling on the bottom of a cookie, then press another cookie onto it, sandwiching the filling between them. 

Peanut butter cutout cookies with chocolate filling; one cookie on its side

Tips for Success

Here are some hints and tips I’ve discovered over the years while making these cookies.

  • Use regular peanut butter. Not the fancy natural stuff! The problem with natural peanut butter is that its consistency can vary wildly, but your standard jar of peanut butter is pretty consistent from one brand to the next, which is important for baking.
  • Keep the cookies from spreading. Chilling the dough makes it easy to work with and prevents the cookies from spreading when you bake them. If it takes you a while to cut the cookies out, you might want to pop the baking sheets in the fridge for a little bit to re-chill the dough before baking.
  • Mess-free assembly. Make sure you leave a bit of a margin and don’t frost all the way to the edges when you’re adding the filling. This way, once you press the cookies together, the filling will reach the edges without spilling over.

How to Store

Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough for this recipe and get a head start on holiday baking, or you can freeze the cookies once they’ve been baked or assembled. Store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Peanut butter sandwich cookie with chocolate filling, with bite removed

Peanut Butter Cutout Cookies with Chocolate Creme Filling

Yield 15 sandwich cookies
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 57 minutes

If you love peanut butter cups, you’re going to love these sandwich cookies!

Stack of 3 peanut butter sandwich cookies with chocolate filling

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (127g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) heavy cream or sour cream, divided in half
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour, divided in half

For the filling:

  • 1 teaspoon plus a heaping 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening or butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (42g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 & 1/2 cups (275g) confectioners' sugar

Instructions

To make the cookies:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, and vanilla. Add the egg and beat well.
  2. Add 1/8 cup of cream, all of the cornstarch, and 1 & 1/2 cups of flour. Mix well.
  3. Add in another 1/8 cup of cream and 1 & 1/2 cups of flour.
  4. Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half slightly, wrap well, and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  6. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll each half of dough into a 1/8- to 1/4-inch circle. Cut out the dough using a 2-inch cookie cutter, and place on the prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set (but not browned). Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then cool completely on wire racks.

To make the filling:

  1. Combine the gelatin and water in a small cup or bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water (that comes up the sides of the smaller bowl) to allow the gelatin to dissolve. The mixture will be transparent. Remove from hot water and let sit at room temperature until cooled but not set.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed. Slowly add the vanilla, cocoa, and confectioners' sugar. (Mixture will be very dry.)
  3. Add the gelatin and mix well.
  4. Spread the filling on the underside of a cookie and top off with another cookie. Use the filling immediately, or cover and store at room temperature.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour.

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    16 Comments on “Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Creme Filling”

  1. These look decadent. I’m with you. It doesn’t get much better than PB & chocolate!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. Peanut butter with chocolate – much better than vanilla! They look scrumptious!

  3. Sharm, Jennifer is at work so I called to ask her how to verify this information. The quantities are correct in the post, just the verb decrease should be increase (which has now been corrected). Thank you for pointing this out! For convenience, the recipe is available here in a format that’s easier to read through and print.

  4. MMM… these sound good! Just to double check… is the amount of shortening for the chocolate filling 6 tablespoons or more than 6 tablespoons? Because you mentioned that for the vanilla filling, to DECREASE shortening to 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons). Just wondering… before I head off into the kitchen ; ) Thanks!

  5. Yowza. Those look amazing. I have a feeling the work-eaters would request these weekly! Thanks!

  6. Egads! You must have read my mind – I was thinking about how there needs to be more chocolate and peanut butter combinations in cookies! These look absolutely delightful 🙂

  7. I just subscribed to the baking sheet too!! But I haven’t received it yet. These look yummy!!

  8. yum! delicous!
    ah, I really want one now!
    1000 x better than an oreo – and I love my oreo’s… 😉

  9. What do you think of the baking sheet magazine? is it worth subscribing? for example are the recipes not featured in there books of site?

    By the way a beatifull blog!

  10. Latifa, I think the subscription is definitely worthwhile. I know that this recipe isn’t on their site, but that’s not to say that it won’t be there some day. I don’t have any of their books (yet), so I can’t answer that.

    Thanks for visiting and for your kind words!

  11. wow…two great tastes that taste great together…pb & chocolate…YUM!

  12. Pingback: bitterbutton » Blog Archive » experiment: crunchy peanut sesame cookies

  13. I just made this filling for some chocolate cookies. I didn’t have shortening, so I used 8 Tbls. butter. It turned out great! (but I don’t know if you can leave butter frostings at room temp?)

  14. I made the above peanut butter cut out cookies. The dough is way too dry and crumbles to pieces. The amount of flour needs to be reduce by 1.25 cups-1.5 cups. It wasn’t easy trying to salvage the dough from this recipe.

    Once the dough was salvaged, it was easy to roll out. The cookie maintains it shape well but looses a great deal of the peanut butter flavor after baking. Next time I will try this recipe with additional sugar and more peanut butter.

  15. I agree with Deanna. I found that the dough was quite crumbly and it was VERY difficult to form together in a ball in order to roll out. Also, as I am a HUGE fan of peanut butter I would also want to use a little more peanut butter and a little bit less flour. I used 2 1/2 cups and it was still a bit much so next time I think I’ll try just 2 cups. Loved the filling though!

  16. Pingback: Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Wafers | Bake or Break | ChocolateBlog.org

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