My friend Laura had a baking day a few weeks ago, and the week prior, we poured over a few different books over lunch when we were trying to painstakingly narrow down the large list of things we wanted to make. The stack of books included the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, which Laura had recently purchased. And, with a quick look through the book, it went on my short list of books to buy. The book itself impressive - it's huge! - and is filled with gorgeous photographs and personal stories from the authors.
The cover of the book features "Better Nutters" - peanut butter oatmeal cookies filled with peanut butter buttercream - and I've been dying to make them. And this weekend, I finally had the opportunity. The dough is a bit of a pain to work with - it gets very sticky, very quickly when rolling it out - and it requires refrigeration prior to rolling out AND freezing prior to baking. Finicky, yes. But, the extra effort was well worth it, and all of the steps can be spread out over days to make things a bit easier. I weighed all of my ingredients (just do your best for the non-whole number gram amounts).
Bouchon Bakery's Better NuttersYield: 12, 3" sandwich cookies
- 30 g (1/4 cup) unsalted peanut halves, toasted (**I prefer saltier cookies; I'll use salted next time)
- 198 g (1 1/4 cups + 2 1/2 T) all-purpose flour
- 9.1 g (1 3/4 t + 1/8 t) baking soda
- 3.8 g (3/4 t) baking powder
- 210 g (7.4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 86 g (1/3 cup) creamy peanut butter (**I used Jif)
- 106 g (1/2 c + 1 T lightly packed) light brown sugar
- 54 g (3 T + 1 t) eggs
- 8.5 g (1 1/2 t) vanilla paste (**I used the seeds from 1 vanilla bean instead)
- 106 g (1 1/3 cups) old fashioned oats
- 1 recipe Peanut Butter Buttercream (see below)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Place the butter and peanut butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until it has the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted.
- Add the sugar to the peanut butter mixture and mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla paste (or bean) and mix on low speed until just incorporated, 15-30 seconds. The mixture may look broken, but that's ok (overbeating the eggs may cause the cookies to expand too much in the oven).
- Add the combined dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15-30 seconds after each addition.
- Add the oats and peanuts and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Mound the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, and push into a 5x7" block. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm (can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month).
Prepare to Bake
- Unwrap dough, place between two sheets of parchment, and roll to 1/4" thick. Slide the dough back into the refrigerator if too soft to cut/transfer rounds.
- Using a 3" round cutter (or cutter of your choice), cut rounds, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Continue with remainder of dough.
- Wrap your baking sheet(s) in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325F (convection or standard). Line 2 sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.
- Arrange the frozen cookies on the sheet pans, leaving 2" between cookies. Bake until golden brown, 12-14 minutes (convection) or 16-18 minutes (standard), rotating the pans halfway through baking. Transfer cookies from baking sheet to wire rack to cool completely.
- Match cookies of similar size.
- Transfer peanut butter filling to a piping bag, fitted with a small French star tip (Ateco #867 is recommended; I just used a small tip that looked reasonable; I'd probably use a slightly larger tip next time).
- Pipe a spiral of buttercream onto one cookie of the pair, to within 1/4" of the edge.
- Top with a second cookie, and press together gently to sandwich the cookies.
Peanut Butter Filling
- 175 g (1 cup + 3 T) Basic Buttercream (**I used my recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream)
- 175 g (1/2 cup + 3 T) creamy peanut butter (**I used Jif)
- .2 g (1/8 t) kosher salt
- Combine buttercream, peanut butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed, until combined and smooth.