Southern cooking. It's something I am not familiar with as a Mid-western-raised girl. It's been around for a while and I'll confess I wasn't head-over-heels about it at first. Features were popping up in my favorite magazines about biscuits and greens.....and I shrugged my shoulders and moved on. But something about the home-style, comforting, made by hand aspect about it drew me in. Because everything about that says "love" to me. And now I'm smitten.
When I saw these while perusing Taste of the South magazine, they stayed in my head for days. I wanted them. They are Summer for me and, although they are a little late for National S'mores Day (August 10--mark your calendars for next year), I had to share these before I move on to Fall Baking. These are the perfect celebration cookie for summer; the best way I can think of to toast the season and end a cookout with grilled burgers and coleslaw. These need to be on your menu for Labor Day weekend, really. It's your last chance.
These cookies are pretty easy to make: don't be intimidated by all the steps to build them. The dough comes together quickly and you can chill it overnight and finish them the next day. Then all you have to do is make some marshmallow frosting and melt some chocolate. They're actually fun to make. There's nothing like seeing something come together and take shape from a pile of flour and sugar and (at ton) of butter to make you feel like you have really created something. And that something is spectacular, in this case.
A word about the butter in this recipe. It's almost all in the frosting and it calls for a pound of it. For 12 cookies. I was a little daunted by that, to be honest. So I cut amounts of the frosting ingredients in half, hoping that there would be enough. And there was. I had some left over, even. The directions do say to be generous with the dollops of fluffiness, but I was a little concerned about a marshmallow buttercream frosting being too sweet. All the butter really does help balance the sugar levels, though. Combined with the salty peanut butter cookie and the dark chocolate coating, it turned out to be perfect.
I would go so far as to say these were a smashing success. Definite keepers. They're the kind of cookies that make you feel like a kid again with wide-eyed wonder that there could be such a thing of awesomeness in the world. That's what they did for me and that's no small thing; to be reminded that there is fun and unexpected pleasures in life in the simple things. Sure, it's just a cookie ( a very rich cookie, I'll warn you), but sometimes that's all it takes to make you feel like everything is right with the world.
These cookies were made to be shared. You don't want to hoard these because one is all you need. I'm excited to share the recipe with you and imagine all the people you will make happy because of a cookie. I'd like to thank my mom for putting that desire to share things (especially food) inside of me. She is a giving person who held nothing back from us and from anyone else. I'm speaking in the context of recipe-sharing, by the way. Nothing makes me more sad than someone withholding that kind of information. I love it when I find a recipe I'm obsessed with and I feel a kind of anticipation percolating inside me. I literally can't wait to share it with someone because I know they will love it as much as I do.
Peanut Butter S'more Cookie Sandwiches
from Taste of the South
You may have noticed I coated the flat side of the cookies with chocolate. That was my own addition. An extra step I wanted to take because I wanted chocolate in every bite of my cookie. I used only about 10 oz. of chocolate, I'd recommend using the full 16 oz. for coating and dipping--it's worth it.
1 c. creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar, divided
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 c. powdered sugar
2 7 oz. jars marshmallow creme
16 1 oz. squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, 1/2 c. butter, 1/2 c. sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 minutes. Add egg, beat well. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. With mixer on low, add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, beating until just combined. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a disk. Wrap tightly and chill 2 hours, until firm. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and roll in 1/2 c. sugar (I didn't use all of my sugar- 1/4 c. would probably be plenty). Place 2" apart on sheets. Using glass, slightly flatten. Bake until lightly browned around bottom edges, 8-12 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely. In large bowl, beat 2 c. butter and powdered sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 4 min. Add marshmallow creme and beat until fluffy, 2 min. Spread thick layer of marshmallow on flat side of one cookie. Top with another cookie and repeat with rest. Place on a baking sheet and chill until firm, 1 hour. Dip one side of cookie in melted chocolate, tap to remove excess. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let stand until chocolate hardens.