There’s a well known peanut butter filled cheese sandwich cookie/cracker that comes wrapped in a cellophane package. If the picture on the package is to be believed, little green elves are responsible for this miracle treat.
I’m remembering them from the vending machine in the basement at a certain east coast college where this and chocolate bars were the first to sell out right before final exams. Mr. Canteen and I might have been responsible for the empty vending machine on occasion. Later on when Costco and Sam’s Club became a box store on every corner, you could buy these things by the millions and never run out. Our kids ate them by the fistful when they were teenagers with hollow legs (before gluten-free and way before anyone ate flax on purpose).
These peanut butter cheesy sandwich cookies are kind of the same, only different. Ours are gluten-free and don’t have a sixty-five year shelf life. If you like peanut butter cheese cracker and cookies duos, these two-bite treats are going to make for some happy snacking. Good thing the recipe makes three hundred million and serves a small village.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind.
It is best to grate your own cheeses even though buying grated is easier. The commercial grated cheeses have extra unpronounceable ingredients to keep it from clumping and not only is it sometimes not gluten-free – it can make the cheese not behave in the recipe. Believe me – I tangled with that one more than once. Grating your own is better. It’s also way less expensive. Also, use a mix of your favorite sharp, hard cheeses for a more interesting flavor. Also, depending upon the state of the cheese (cheese-state?) you might need less or more milk which is why it’s in there as a range. Use just enough to get the dough to form a ball.
And if you can figure out which east coast college I’m talking about – there might be a perfectly good package of these things hiding somewhere in the bottom of the vending machine because I did lose one once. Luckily it hasn’t been quite sixty-five years so I bet they’re not stale yet.
One recipe – two variations. Homemade cheesy crackers and peanut butter cheesy sandwich cookies. And there’s more. Stay tuned.
|Peanut Butter Cheesy Sandwich Cookies||
- 455 grams. hard cheeses, cubed (mixed sharp cheeses) (1 pound)
- 195 grams Canteen flour blend (1 ½ cups) (see notes)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3-6 tablespoons milk
- 115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick or 8 tablespoons)
- 150 grams creamy peanut butter (1/2 cup) (Skippy Natural)
- 220 grams powdered sugar, sifted (2 cups)
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse the cheese with the onion powder, and salt until very finely ground. Add the flour and pulse until fully combined and mixture starts to look clumpy. Add the butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form and the dough begins to look a little bit smeary. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time just until the dough forms a very clumpy, crumbly and smeary ragged ball. The amount of milk you use will be related to how moist, soft, or hard the cheese is. Remove the dough from the processor onto a piece of plastic wrap and knead the dough until it comes together. It might seem a little crumbly, but it will behave better after chilling. Divide dough in half and cover each piece securely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at minimum 4 hours (it keeps for a week or so in the refrigerator).
- Remove half the dough at a time from the refrigerator and let it come almost to room temperature, but it should still feel chilled.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place another large sheet of parchment paper on the counter with the dough on it and cover the dough with plastic wrap. Roll dough about ¼ inch thick. Remove the plastic wrap and cut out one-inch circles using a cookie cutter and place those close together on each baking sheet. They don’t spread much. Dock each cracker with a fork to look like a cracker that might be familiar and starts with an R.
- Chill for 10-15 minutes before placing baking sheets in the oven. Bake 10 minutes. Turn oven temperature down to 325°F and bake 8-10 minutes more or until the crackers are dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and continue the process until all the crackers are baked. Turn off oven and let it cool down until it is just warm. Turn the crackers over and place them all on two baking sheets.
- Place in the warm oven and leave for 2-3 hours (with oven light on) and they will become crispy perfect. Cool to room temperature before filling.
- Whip together the butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar until the mixture looks fluffy and smooth. Pipe or spoon a teaspoon onto one side of the cracker and top with another. Press until the filling comes just to the edges. Let filling set for at least an hour at room temperature. Best eaten while studying or working late.Sharing is always polite.