These cookies are incredible. Like peanut butter oreos, but soft and chewy and more chocolatey.
Well, I admit this is not really a new recipe. The cookie dough is the same as in the Brownie Cut-OutCookies, but rolled thinner and cut to have the hole in the top that characterizes linzer cookies. Don't worry though--unlike most cut-out cookies, these are baked only until still soft and barely set, and their deep chocolate flavor (courtesy of dutch-process cocoa powder) belies the vanilla tradition of their sometimes hard and bland cookie kin.
You could certainly just cut two circles to make a normal sandwich cookie, but it's a beautiful and festive addition (subtraction?) to cut a little hole in the top cookie. I had linzer cutters that cut the circle and the star at the same time, but you could use a very small circle or cut a diamond with a knife. They would look beautiful this way on a holiday cookie platter.
Let's talk frosting for a minute. Joy put out a cookbook about a year ago, and she has several pages devoted to cream cheese frosting. I am so on board! The cheesieness keeps the frosting from being sickly sweet and the texture makes the frosting incomparably smooth. I only used half of her recipe (which frosts 24 cupcakes or a whole two layer round cake or a whole 9x13 sheet cake) and it was the perfect amount.
Given that the frosting is less stiff than oreo creme filling, the cookies benefit from refrigeration to firm everything up. Once chilled, the filling holds its own against the cookies and doesn't sploosh out the sides when you bite into it.
Love love love these. A bit of labor, but not that bad. This dough is seriously so easy to work with that rolling it out is a pleasure.
See recipe for Brownie Cut-Out Cookies
Roll about 1/8" thick and bake for 8 minutes, turning halfway through. Let cool on sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Frosts 1 batch of cookies above in sandwiches, or double for 24 cupcakes, a round layer cake, or a 9x13 sheet cake!
- 4 oz (half a package) cream cheese, softened -- I used Neufchatel
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (eyeball if you can, measuring peanut butter is a pain)
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Using a stand or hand held mixer, beat cream cheese alone, ensuring it's soft. Add butter and beat to combine and soften (essential if, like me, you always forget to soften the butter).
- Add peanut butter and salt, beat to combine. Then, slowly and carefully add the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. Add vanilla, mix to combine, then beat the whole mixture on medium/high speed to aerate.
- Frost cookies above with about a teaspoon or so of frosting per sandwich. The back of a butter knife is a good tool for this.
Eat up! Holiday cookies are coming!
Recipe for frosting from the Joy the Baker Cookbook.