Tag Archives: back to school

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

Back to school season always puts me in the mood for peanut butter and jelly. This classic sandwich combo was my favorite school lunch growing up, and is quickly becoming a favorite dessert flavor, hence today’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

These two-bite treats are for those of us who like a little jelly with our peanut butter. The cookies themselves are just miniature versions of my favorite soft peanut butter cookie recipe. It’s a quick no-mixer, no-chill recipe that bakes up in a flash. Truly, the most tedious part of the entire process is rolling the tiny cookie dough balls, and that’s really no trouble at all!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

While the cookies are baking and cooling, whip up a small batch of sweet & salty peanut butter buttercream filling. This stuff is irresistible—light and smooth and about as peanut buttery as it is possible to be! I have big plans to use this recipe for future layer cakes, but today it’s going between two tiny peanut butter cookies with a little bit of jelly for maximum late-August nostalgia.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies are everything great about the classic psandwich, just smaller and for dessert! The cookies are peanut buttery and tender, and the filling—I mean, do I need to describe the majestic deliciousness of peanut butter buttercream?! A hint of jelly rounds it all out. Basically, they taste like nostalgia feels, but better. All the flavor and none of the studying.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies
makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling:
Peanut Butter Buttercream (recipe below)
heaping 1/2 cup jelly of choice (I used strawberry)

Set oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a small-medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Combine butter and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. This may also be done in a small pot on the stove over medium-low heat.

Transfer butter/peanut butter to a medium mixing bowl and whisk in brown sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, stirring until a combined.

Scoop dough in 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) increments, roll into balls and place 2-inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 8-9 minutes, until puffed and no longer raw looking. Let cool on the pans for 7-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Let baking sheets return to room temperature before rolling and baking any remaining dough.

While cookies are cooling, make Peanut Butter Buttercream (recipe below). There are two options for filling:

1. To assemble a sandwich cookie by piping, apply filling by pipe a circle in the middle of the underside of one cookie, leaving about 1/4" around the edge. Top with 1/2 teaspoon jelly, then a second plain cookie with the underside filling-side-in. Repeat until all cookies have been used.

2. To assemble a sandwich cookie by spreading, use an offset frosting knife to spread 1/2-1 teaspoon on the underside of one cookie. Top with 1/2 teaspoon jelly, the a second plain cookie with the underside filling-side-in. Repeat until all cookies have been used.

You may serve cookies immediately, but for best structure (minimal filling escaping during bites) let cookies rest at room temperature for an hour.

Sandwich cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Layer them with parchment or wax paper when storing.
Peanut Butter Buttercream
makes enough for 1 batch of sandwich cookies

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)

In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and peanuts butter until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Mix in confectioner's sugar and salt, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add in vanilla, followed by heavy cream (or milk). Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, until very fluffy.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies

Peanut Butter & Jelly BlondiesSeeing all my friends’ kids’ back-to-school photos these last few weeks, I’ve been reminiscing about my own school days. I don’t know that we took First Day photos (my parents rarely remembered a camera), but that’s okay because all my first days were pretty similar. I mean, I went to the same school K-12 and wore the same uniform for all but one semester of that time.

(Like many recovering private school kids, I have spent the last 15 years working through an aversion to plaid. I’m glad to say I’m making progress 😀 )Peanut Butter & Jelly BlondiesOne of my childhood chores was to pack my own lunch. I was/am skeeved out by lunch meat and was not yet allowed to cook with any regularity, so I packed a peanut butter & jelly sandwich damn near every single day.Peanut Butter & Jelly BlondiesYou don’t need me to explain the magic of a PB & J to you. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, salty, gooey, and satisfying. After thirteen years of eating them five days a week, I don’t eat many peanut butter & jelly sandwiches these days, but when I do, I fall in love all over again.Peanut Butter & Jelly BlondiesToday’s recipe, Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies, is a sweet little ode to that school lunch classic ❤ These fabulous layered bars begin with my tried-and-true peanut butter blondie base before being topped with a layer of jelly (or jam) and crispy, crunchy peanut crumble. They’re a texture-lover’s dream!Peanut Butter & Jelly BlondiesPeanut Butter & Jelly BlondiesPeanut Butter & Jelly BlondiesThe blondies are baked for 35-40 minutes before being cooled and sliced. I like mine a little on the underdone side, but you can bake them a few minutes longer if that’s not your thing. Either way, you’ll be rewarded with a pan of rich, dense, peanut butter & jelly deliciousness.Peanut Butter & Jelly BlondiesI find that chilling these bars in the fridge (or even the freezer) makes them easier to slice. The jelly layer will never be completely firm, but it shouldn’t be too messy to work with. And even if it is, who cares? It’s peanut butter & jelly—getting a little on your fingers is all part of the fun.Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies

Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies
makes one 8-inch pan, about 16 blondies

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 cup jelly, jam, or preserves (I used strawberry)

Peanut Crumble:
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving some overhang on two sides. Grease with butter. Dust lightly with flour and discard any excess. Set aside.

Place butter and peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Melt together in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Transfer to a medium-large mixing bowl. Stir in light brown and granulated sugars, followed by egg and yolk and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt.

Spread the blondie batter in prepared pan. Drop spoonfuls of jelly over the top of the batter. Use an offset knife (or the back of a spoon) to spread it to the edges of the pan. Layer may not be perfectly even—this is okay. Set aside.

Make the peanut crumble. In a small-medium mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together oats, flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and chopped peanuts. Pour in butter and stir until everything is moistened and clumps begin to form. Scatter mixture over the jelly layer, covering as much as possible.

Bake 35-40 minutes, or until golden at the edges. Jelly will still be jiggly. Let blondies cool completely in the pan on a rack. Refrigerate until cold (I froze mine for an hour).

Use foil to lift blondies out of pan. Peel off foil and transfer blondies to a cutting board. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice bars. Serve.

Leftover blondies will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.Peanut Butter & Jelly BlondiesPeanut Butter & Jelly Blondies