Homemade (chocolate-filled) Nutter Butters

After making Frosted Animal Cookies, I guess I had store-bought cookies on the brain.  I had Nutter Butter Brain.  There was no stopping it.

But these are BETTER than Nutter Butters.  These are thick, soft, homemade Nutter Butters topped with peanut butter royal icing (!) and filled with chocolate ganache.  Oh yeah, babe.

First, you'll need the peanut butter cookies.  These are peanut butter roll-out cookies slightly modified from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. Roll them out a bit thinner than you would a regular sugar cookies for decorating since you'll be putting 2 together.

I used my bikini top cutter for the peanut. :)
Next, you'll need peanut butter royal icing.  I had heard royal icing goes wonky if mixed with fat, but I threw caution to the wind and added 4 TBSP of peanut butter to my finished royal icing.  (I also added some brown AmeriColor food coloring.)  The icing *did* deflate and would not form a stiff peak again, but it was thick enough for piping.  It even dried smooth and shiny.

Would I cover an entire cookie with it?  No.  It did crack in places, like here:

Next up, my old friend, chocolate ganache.  Make it, let it set up a bit and pipe or spread it between two cookies.
{Or just eat it by the spoonful, I won't tell.}

Peanut Butter Roll-Out Cookies
{modified from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion}

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/4 c. sour cream
3 TBSP cornstarch
3 c. flour

In a large bowl, beat the butter through vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat until combined.

Add half the sour cream, all of the cornstarch and half of the flour; beat well.  Add the remaining sour cream and flour, mixing just until combined.

Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin and cut with a cookie cutter dipped in flour. (got flour? :))  Place the cut cookies on prepared sheets and pop in the freezer for 5 minutes before baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until set.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Now, pipe the cookies with peanut butter royal icing, using a #2 tip.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 c. heavy cream
6 oz. bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until hot and steamy.  Tiny bubbles will appear around the edges.  Pour over the chocolate and let sit 5 minutes.

Stir the mixture until combined, but do not over stir, or the mixture will look "bubbly." (But still perfectly edible...trust me.)  Gently stir in the vanilla.  Let the ganache sit until it has cooled and thickened.
Homemade Nutter Butters, Frosted Animal Cookies ...anyone care to guess what is coming next?!?
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