Nutter Butter Cookies

I bought “hot lunch” only once during my 14 years of elementary and high school.  My mom made my lunch everyday! The one time I remember buying lunch was in first grade when I begged her to let me get pizza, I didn’t really want the pizza, I was more interested in the chocolate pudding with sprinkles that was always served WITH the pizza. From what I remember it was not good, and I never really ventured to try anything else.

My mom had a tough job in packing lunch for my sister and I because we were PICKY eaters.  Although this was in large part due to my mom being a picky eater.  My lunch usually consisted of pretty healthy stuff.  I didn’t like sandwiches, or leftovers so that narrowed things down quite a bit.  Mom would make me peanut butter sandwiches on rice cakes, because I didn’t like soggy bread 🙂 As I got older the lunches consisted of a piece of fruit, crackers, drink and 2 cookies, always ending the meal on a sweet note.  We had a pretty steady rotation of cookie options, one of my favorites was Nutter Butter Cookies.  The little peanut butter sandwich cookie, shaped like a peanut! They were crunchy, salty and sweet, containing all of the essential elements of a delicious cookie.

A few weeks ago in an attempt to use up some left over peanut butter and make a yummy cookie to send to my in-laws, I came across a Homemade Nutter Butter cookie recipe.  The recipe makes a lot and they are great for care packages.  If you aren’t willing to turn on your oven in this summer heat – wait a few weeks, they will make an excellent “back to school” treat!!!

Homemade Nutter Butter Cookies
adapted from Bouchon Bakery and NY Times 

Cookie Dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
2½ cups quick-cooking oats

¼ pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter, preferably Skippy
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Make the cookie dough: preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping down bowl twice. Batter should be light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition, add vanilla.  Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until well mixed, frequently scraping down bowl.  Add peanuts and oats, and mix well. Use a tablespoon to ensure the cookies are the same size, (mine where about the size of golf balls, a little smaller) place balls of dough on parchment-lined baking sheets at least three inches apart. Bake until the cookies are browned and have flattened and spread out.

Make the filling: with a kitchen aid or hand mixer, mix filling ingredients till smooth.

Sandwich the cookies with frosting and enjoy!!!

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