These tiny sandwich cookies pack a one-two heat punch, the first comes in the peppery snap of the chocolate icebox cookies, the second in the slower, smoky burn of chipotle in the peanut butter cream filling. The flavor combo was inspired by the PB&C bar from Sweeteeth, an awesome chocolatier here in Charleston, SC. These are best the same day they’re made, but allow time for the ganache to chill. - Midge —Midge
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Midge, a well-rounded, well-traveled journalist, and beloved veteran FOOD52er.
WHAT: Buckeye-inspired sandwich cookies -- a kiddy treat for grown-up tastes.
HOW: Smooth peanut butter made that much creamier by the addition of, well, cream, smooshed between spiced cocoa cookies.
WHY WE LOVE IT: With all that cayenne and ancho bringing a pleasantly slow but undeniable burn from the cookie side of things, the creamified peanut butter filling presents a welcome, soothing contrast. —Food52
roughly 2 dozen filled cookies
smooth natural peanut butter, like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s
chipotle puree* --or more depending on your heat tolerance.
fine sea salt, or to taste depending on the saltiness of your peanut butter
1 1/2 cups
natural cocoa powder
fine sea salt
ground ancho chiles
ground black pepper
unsalted butter, room temperature
In This Recipe
Place peanut butter, chipotle puree, and salt in bowl of standing mixer (with whisk attached). Gently warm cream in small pan over low heat. Pour cream over peanut butter mixture and whip until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt and chipotle. Chill until firm, a couple hours or even overnight.
Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, pepper, ancho, and cayenne.
In bowl of standing mixer, cream butter. Add vanilla, sugar, and beat thoroughly. Beat in egg and gradually add dry ingredients. Blend only until mixed.
Turn dough out on lightly floured cutting board/silpat/counter and shape dough into two cylinders about 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter. Wrap cylinders in wax paper and place in freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375. Unwrap dough and cut into slices 1/8-inch thick. Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake about 8 minutes. Watch carefully; cookies are done when they are firm to touch. Cool.
Gently spread chilled ganache on cookies and top with another cookie to make a sandwich.
*chipotle puree: empty the contents of a can of chipotle chiles in adobe sauce into your food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. The remainder will keep in a glass jar in the fridge for at least a month. Delicious stirred into scrambled eggs, mayo, hummus, and butter (to spread on corn on the cob, yum)
I’m a journalist who’s covered everything from illegal logging in Central America to merit pay for teachers, but these days I write mostly about travel. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in some far-flung locales, where poking around markets and grocery stores is my favorite thing to do. Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day; there’s nothing like kneading bread dough to bring you back to earth.