Jif had me at “peanut butter & salty caramel.” Ever since I tasted this new whipped spread from Jif about a month ago, I’ve been trying to figure out how to use it in a cookie. Not that there’s anything wrong with eating it by the spoonful.
At first I thought I might just substitute it for straight-up peanut butter in classic PB cookies. However, the airiness of the whipped PB would make the cookies spread more than I’d like. So add more flour? Less butter? My head hurt from the culinary calculations.
Then it hit me, use the spread as a filling for sandwich cookies. I tested the idea on vanilla wafers, which is truly a dangerous idea. A hungry soul could pop a dozen of these before the calorie counter kicks in. Not a bad idea, but the sandwich cookies would be small.
So I decided to make my own vanilla wafers with a recipe from Williams-Sonoma. They didn’t turn out much like the popular store-bought versions in taste or look. Still, I like these vanilla cookies and the size was good for sandwich cookies.
While I like this Jif spread (another is a chocolate-peanut butter combination), I didn’t taste much salt. So, after dipping the sandwich cookies into melted German chocolate I sprinkled just a few grains of coarse sea salt on the wet chocolate before it set. I love that pop of salt nestled into the sweetness of cookie and filling. Make no mistake, this is a big cookie. One is satisfying; two will feel like gluttony.
Surprisingly, these cookies freeze well. And in my house, they get eaten frozen. Nothing slows down my cookie monsters.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup Jif Whipped Peanut Butter & Salty Caramel Flavored Spread
- 4 ounces German chocolate, melted
- Coarse sea salt
- To make the cookie dough, combine the butter, sugar and salt and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Reduce the speed to low, add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour and beat until incorporated and a smooth dough forms.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a log 8- to 9- inches long and about 1½ inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line rimless baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each unwrapped log crosswise into slices ¼-inch thick. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the edges and bottoms are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks and let cool completely.
- Match up cookies according to size. Spread about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter filing on the flat side of half of the cookies and put the remaining cookies on top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to let filling stiffen.
- Dip half of cookie into melted chocolate and lay on greased cooling rack. While chocolate is still soft, sprinkle with a few grains of coarse sea salt.
- Refrigerate cookies to set. Store in refrigerator or freeze.