Frosting elevates any baked good.
I firmly believe this truth. Frosting is the food most likely to bring a frumpy muffin up to cupcake status, a simple quick bread to dessert nobility, or a cookie to the realm of gift worthy.
Likewise, subtract the frosting and baked goods are reduced to pale and austere offerings of flour, sugar, and eggs.
Frosting is important, y’all. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t.
My all-time favorite cookie is this brownie cutout cookie. I have adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. These are my go-to recipe when I have to fulfill the motherly contractual obligation of baking cookies in holiday-specific shapes. They roll out beautifully and they taste incredible all on their own. Kind of simple, but never could they be accused of being boring or plain. Chocolaty, sweet, slightly salty, and perfect with coffee. (Coffee pair-ability is a key factor in my baked goods ranking rubric.)
Sometimes the simple cookies need the addition of a little tiara to help them stand taller, with that extra special little bit of joi de vivre. Usually the choice when discussing cookies in shapes is royal icing. Though nice, royal icing is not as decadent or indulgent as a buttercream adornment.
A peanut butter buttercream adornment to be exact.
Why not add a schmear of slightly salty and faintly peanut buttery frosting to the perfect cookie? And see how your boo (or is it bae?) gobbles them up.
These would make a great date night-in dessert or can be given as little party favors with bows to your gal pals when you go for a Galentine’s Day night out. (That’s my plan.)
Try them out. See how fast a cookie can be transformed into the Belle of the Ball with a little help from her fairy godmother: frosting.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies-
Brownie Cookies (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)-
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Sticks (1 Cup) Room Temperature Butter
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350
In a large bowl- whisk together all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside
In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment- cream together butter and sugar, add eggs, then add vanilla extract.
With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients. Mix together until incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap, and chill for at least one hour.
Roll dough to 1/4″ thickness and cut into desired shapes.
Bake dough at 350 degrees for 6-9 minutes (depending on cookie size, mine were small and only needed 6 minutes in the oven).
Let cool then sandwich with peanut butter frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting-
1 Stick Softened Butter (1/2 Cup)
3/4 Cup Peanut Butter (I used natural peanut butter- adjust powdered sugar and water for consistency if using traditional peanut butter)
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment- cream together the butter and peanut butter.
Add the salt and water.
Begin (slowly and on the lowest setting of the mixer) adding the confectioners sugar then add vanilla.
Once the frosting has come together and is looking light and creamy- add the all purpose flour (this helps the frosting to set) and then check the consistency of the frosting. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If too thick, add teaspoonfuls of water while beating to thin slightly.
Pipe the cookies with frosting to within 1/2″ of the edges of cooled cookies and then sandwich together.