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!
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!
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 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
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
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.