One of the things I love most about holiday baking, is baking with my friends. It’s so much fun to listen to Christmas music, laugh, bake and maybe have a mimosa or two. I’ve been having Christmas cookie baking days with my friends for years now. This year when a friend and I were discussing what we should bake. She suggested homemade nutter butter cookies.
Nutter butters aren’t considered a traditional Christmas cookie, but can’t lie I’ve been known to enjoy a package of the store-bought nutter butters every now than. But, I’ve never made them from scratch, so I was totally up for adding them to our cookie baking extravaganza list. Turns out they were easier to bake than I thought. They are a little time-consuming, so this isn’t really a spur of the moment cookie. If you have little time on your hands and a love of peanut butter, this is your cookie.
I’ve only ever had two kinds of nutter butters in my life, one was the kind you buy at the store or in a vending machine. The other one I had, was from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. The Bouchon nutter butters were amazing!!! For some reason I got in my mind that they must be super hard to make. In reality all a nutter butter really is, is a peanut butter cookies sandwiched with peanut butter cream filling.
Of course you can’t have a nutter butter without peanut butter,we started by creaming together butter with peanut butter.
To give the peanut butter cookie extra texture and sandy feeling like the ones you get in the store, the cookie dough uses a mixture of regular all purpose flour and rice flour.
I combined the rice flour, regular flour, baking soda and salt together with a whisk. I set the flour mixture aside while I finished combining the wet ingredients.
In the mixer, I beat together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until it’s light and fluffy, I beat for at least 3 minutes. Once the sugar and butter are light and fluffy I add the eggs and vanilla.
Then I gradually added the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, I divided the dough into two disk and wrapped them in plastic wrap. The dough is very soft and sticky. The recipe says to let it chill in the refrigerator for thirty minutes but, we decided it would be better to put the dough in the freezer. The colder the dough is the easier it will be to roll out later on.
While the dough was in the freezer chilling, we started working on the peanut butter filling for the cookies. The filling is super easy, it’s just peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter whipped together. You’ll want to beat this filling for a while so it’s nice and fluffy, also this makes sure the filling is nice and smooth.
The dough is chilled and ready to roll. I rolled the dough to 1/4 of inch of thickness, then using a peanut shape cookie cutter we cut out individual peanut cookies. We thought the cookies would look more authentic if I used a butter knife to make little cross hatches in the dough to resemble real peanuts. After the cookies were cut out they are placed on a baking sheet and put in the oven for ten minutes.
The cookies have to be completely cooled before they can be filled. If you try to fill them while they are still warm the filling will melt and run all over the place. Once the cookies are completely cooled we filled a piping bag with the peanut butter filling and pipped the filling onto one side of the cookie.
Now that half of the cookies have been filled with delicious peanut butter filling, top them with the other cookie and give the cookies a little squeeze to gently spread the filling between the two cookies, and bam you’ve got yourself a nutter butter!
I took one bite and I was in heaven! The cookie was perfectly crisp, balanced with the fluffy creamy filling that just melts in your mouth. I don’t know if I could ever go back to store-bought again. Buck tradition this year and add nutter butters to your holiday cookie list, I guarantee you wont be disappointed.
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (4.75 ounces) – see note above
2/3 cup granulated sugar (5 ounces)
2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar (5 ounces)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
1 1/2 cups rice flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter, preferably Skippy
3 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar.
In a large bowl (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer), mix together the butter, peanut butter, granulated and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for another 2-3 minutes until the batter is light and creamy.
Stir in the soda, salt, flour and rice flour until well-combined. Chill the dough for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line one or two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside.
Portion the dough into balls about 1/2 ounce each (a couple tablespoons of dough per ball). Space them a couple inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and using a fork, make a criss-cross pattern in the top, flattening the balls to about 1/4-inch thick or less while doing so.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
To make the filling: Cream together the butter, peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until very smooth & pale.