flourless double chocolate and peanut butter sandwich cookie

1 double double sandwich cookies chocolate peanut butter 2 a sift cocoa with collander 3 flourless chocolate cookie batter 4 flourless double chocolate cookie ready for the oven 5 double double sandwich cookies one topped with peanut butter 6 top off double double sandwich
Chocolate & peanut butter: one of the great &s of all time. Earlier this week I whipped up a variation on two decadent (gluten free) dessert recipes. These recipes are suspicious alone but wonderfully dangerous when combined. I took a couple of the dense treats over to a neighbor who shares my affinity for peanut butter. He later told me, judging by the weight of the 2 “cookies” I knew it was serious business! So there you have it, this recipe mash-up is not for the faint of heart. Can you handle it?

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Cookies Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Recipe
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups chopped peanuts
4 large egg whites at room temperature

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa, and salt (I like to use a mesh colander to sift the dry ingredients). Stir in chocolate and peanuts (I pulverized half of the nuts in my blender). Add egg whites and stir just until incorporated (looks like thick brownie batter).

Drop dough balls (cookie scoop works wonders) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until tops are dry to the touch, about 23 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer sheets to wire racks and let cookies cool completely. (To store, keep in an airtight container, up to 3 days.)

Peanut Butter Cream
Adapted from Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing Recipe

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. Stores well in the fridge but spreads best at room temperature.

signs of spring in philly

It seems as though the minute I landed in Philadelphia, it was Spring. The past few days have been unseasonably warm. I ate a Geno’s cheese steak in 70+ degree weather! The outdoor basketball courts and city playgrounds were packed. Fruit lined the narrow city streets of the Italian Market. On a conference break, I had Chocolate Peanut Butter Ripple ice cream in a pretzel cone. Pretzel cone, more on that later. Spring bulbs were in bloom by Independence Hall, Rocky and “The Thinker.” All pleasant Philadelphia Spring surprises.

voguemallow grilled sandwich

I can be a purist when it comes to trends and classics, but in some cases it makes sense to pair a trend with a classic. I think slipping that trend in there adds a little something to indicate that you are not dead yet. I picked up some artisan marshmallows last Saturday morning while visiting the Irvington neighborhood festival. How does one decide between banana cinnamon, thai chili, and passion fruit megamallows (especially when freshly toasted ones are given to you)? I ended up taking home toasted coconut, bacon chocolate chip and pawpaw marshmallows coated in crunchy bourbon barrel aged sugar; they seemed Novemberish. That makes several food trends wrapped up in one, and I introduced them to the classics called hot cocoa and fluffernutter. The bacon chocolate chip mallows were best suited for the grilled peanut butter Wonderbread sandwich. Big warm sweet crispy melty sandwich yum. In the end for me, when it comes to food and fashion, comfort is king.

chocolate caramel pretzel sandwich stand-off

Rolos will always be an autumn candy to me. Like the shiny wrapped chocolate caramel mound, the season is covered in new golden colors and filled with sweet treasures. I first enjoyed one of these little Rolo pretzel sandwich treats courtesy of my friend Sara when I lived in Middlebury. What a simple and perfect combination of salty/sweet/chewy/crunchy. We took it to another level yesterday and had a contest to find the best variation, and besides, kitchen experiments and fine motor skills practice go better with chocolate candies in my opinion! The variables included flat pretzels, mini pretzels, Rolos, Riesens and Caramel Creams. The Caramel Creams barely melted, so they ended up being an open-faced variety. After testing, deliberation, a glass of milk and voting, first place went to the Rolo with the flat pretzel (we also thought it looked like a Koala pumpkin face)!

To make your own, just place the candy on top of a pretzel. Pop it in a 250-degree oven for 5 minutes, then lightly press another pretzel on top to complete the sandwich. They are messy if eaten right away but firm up in an hour or so. If you use Glutino pretzels and Rolos, these treats can also be gluten free.

huckleberry jammie dodgers

Who doesn’t like a sandwich cookie?  There are so many good ones, and I made my first jammie dodger yesterday!  I added cinnamon to Martha’s shortbread cookie recipe for the biscuit part and jarred huckleberry preserves for the jammie part.  Huge thanks to my mom for picking up some huckleberry preserves for me when she was in Montana last month.  I will make my own someday… maybe after a future summer visit to a Farmer’s Market in the northwest where the fresh dark purple berries are plenty?  I think it’s the heat, but big ol’ dinners are not appealing lately.  Tonight I was satisfied with a tart and spicy huckleberry jammie dodger, buttery slices of manchego, fresh apricots and iced tea.  Flavor grand slam in my ballpark.

choco-fluffernutter ice cream sandwiches

I was catching up on some blog reading when I was delighted by the simplicity of this peanut butter cookie recipe.  Wistful for my days at the Women’s Studio Workshop and needy for some baking decompression, I got out the mixing bowl right after work.  But why stop at the cookie when you spy your jar of marshmallow fluff in the cupboard?  Fluffernutter!  And what about the fact that it is summertime and you just purchased a pint of double dark chocolate gelato on special (vermouth & Callebut on the ingredients list)?!  Put them ALL together crazy lady, and indulge in a choco-fluffernutter ice cream sandwich.  Because even though some things are perfectly wonderful by themselves, they may have the potential to turn into something even better.  I used creamy PB in the cookies.