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(Not) Nutter Butters

I don’t have 12 Days of Cookies [1] for you this year. I have one day of cookies—and it is today. But it is one very special cookie. As I look back on 2010, this will stand out as one of the best recipes I tried this year. These delicious peanut butter cookies are something I will be making for years to come, and you should too.
I love the rich flavor and the saltiness of good peanut butter cookies. So, I was curious when I saw this recipe for Nutter Butters on Brandi’s wonderful blog I Made That! [2] (I love the name, and if you aren’t already familiar, Brandi makes dessert at Delancy [3] in Seattle). The recipe is from a Nancy Silverton cookbook [4] that I have had sitting on my shelf for years. I remembered when I bought the book I was intrigued by the nutter butter recipe, but then completely forgot about it.
Brandi’s praise [5] of the recipe was enough for me to pull the book off of the shelf and try out the recipe. I was so very glad I did. These are incredibly good and pretty accurately recreate all that is best about a Nutter Butter, minus the commercial flavors. That sandy texture of the cookie and smooth, creamy filling are all here. I made these once and then within a few days made them again for friends. Everyone agreed that this is one of the best cookies they have ever had. Lots of “Mmmmmm”. These may not be the obvious choice for a Christmas celebration, but will probably blow everything else out of the water.

Of course those of you who want to get creative can form these into a peanut shape. I recommend storing these cookies in the fridge because I think they taste even better chilled. I am anxious to make a sundae out of them too. Chop a few up and sprinkle them over homemade vanilla ice cream and you will have a very special treat indeed. Enjoy!

Not Nutter Butters (adapted from Nancy Silverton [4])



In a medium skillet, melt 1 stick of the butter over medium heat. Using a small paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise. With the back of the knife, scrape out the pulp and the seeds, and add the scrapings and the pod to the butter. Add the oats, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly, until the oats are lightly toasted and a golden-brown color. Transfer to a bowl, discard vanilla pod, and chill the mixture.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the rest of the butter, the baking soda, and the salt on low speed for 2-3 minutes, until the butter is softened. Add the sugars, and mix on medium until the mixture is light and fluffy, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and mix to combine. Turn the mixture off, and add the oats and flour. Turn the mixer on low speed, and mix for another minute until the ingredients are incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Using your hands, roll the dough into balls (Silverton suggested 2-inch balls, I do more like 1-11/2-inch). Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2-inches apart. Use the heel of your hand to flatten the balls into disks (about 1/4-inch tall). Using a fork or sharp knife, mark diagonal crisscross patterns over the surface of each cookie. Chill them for about 15 minutes until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Bake cookies for 16-18 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through. Allow them to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and salt on medium speed for about 1 minute, until the butter is softened. Add the sugar and peanut butter, and mix for another minute to combine them.

Make into sandwiches, and enjoy!

Yield: 24 large sandwiches or 36ish smaller sandwiches. This makes a LOT of cookies (especially because they are pretty rich). You can cut the recipe in half and end up with about 12-18 cookies.