If you follow me on Instagram you probably know poor little oh honey bakes experienced a pretty massive crash recently. Lesson learned, when you’re editing code that you don’t know anything about and WordPress says those three little words…no, not ‘I love you’, WordPress is definitely just not that into me…when they say ‘proceed with caution’ they actually mean it. I’m sure this is really obvious to any other bloggers/web folks/people with the tiniest bit of knowledge about the big crazy internet but apparently there’s no UNDO button?(!) One week, one meltdown, and about 5 pounds of chocolate later I’m back and bringing you these…my therapy baking dark chocolate and salted peanut butter cow cookie sandwiches.
They started out as simple, buttery chocolate cows but then I thought to myself, “two cookies are obviously better than one, and chocolate and peanut butter is obviously better than just chocolate (okay, sometimes)”. And since I’m clearly into taking things way too far, a little white chocolate peanut butter ganache splatter painting seemed about right.
I recently posted a recipe using Bouchon Bakery’s shortbread cookie recipe which I love. Here I just substituted Valrhona cocoa powder for some of the flour. I will say, the dough is a little tricky to work with but if you keep it really cold and take your time you will be rewarded with perfectly crumbly, buttery, chocolatey shortbread. It isn’t too sweet and pairs perfectly with some sweet and salty peanut butter cream.
So, next time something stressful comes along…blog crash, dead car battery, mismatched socks…I recommend making these little guys. How could they not make you feel a little bit better?
- 12 tbsp (180g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (90g) granulated sugar
- ½ + ⅛ tsp (2g) Kosher salt
- 1 tsp (5.9g) vanilla bean paste
- 1½ c (203g) all-purpose flour
- ½ c plus 3 tbsp (67g) good-quality cocoa powder
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium-low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sugar and salt and mix on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla bean paste and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to distribute evenly. Add the flour in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, or until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any flour that may have settled there.
- Mound the dough on a work surface and, using the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper, push it together into a 5-inch-square block. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
- Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees, using the convection setting if you have it. Line 2 sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.
- Unwrap the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, pound the top of the dough, working from left to right, to begin to flatten it, then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. (This will help prevent the dough from cracking as it is rolled.) Roll out to a 9-10 in square. If the dough has softened, slide it (in the plastic wrap or parchment) onto the back of a sheet pan and refrigerate it until firm. Cut your shapes, combining the leftover dough, rolling out, and repeating until you've used it all.
- Arrange on the prepared sheet pans, leaving about ¾-inch between the cookies.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in a convection oven, 17 to 19 minutes in a standard oven, reversing the positions of the pans halfway through baking.
- Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool 5 to 10 minutes then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. The shortbread can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days.
- 1½ cups (14 ounces/400 grams) creamy peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1.5 oz white chocolate, melted
- ¼ c peanut butter filling
- Combine peanut butter, butter powdered sugar in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on medium-high speed until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add honey and salt a little at a time, tasting as you go. Mix until well combined.
- For the ganache, mix melted white chocolate and peanut butter filling until smooth.
- To assemble
- Put peanut butter filling in a pastry bag with a large round tip or large ziplock and cut a hole in one corner. Pipe filling on one side of the cookie and place the second on top. If the ganache is too thick, microwave for a few seconds. Use a fork or spoon to decorate.