If you live in NYC and haven’t eaten food from ‘Wichcraft- then you probably don’t work on magazine photo shoots. If you work on photo shoots, as I, then chances are you’ve tried everything on the menu. For breakfast they do an amazing Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich- ask for it on toasted multi-grain bread. For lunch their albacore tuna over green with fennel, olives and preserved lemon is my number one choice. But no ‘Wichcraft meal is complete without one of its famous cream’wich cookies. The pièce de résistance. They have chocolate ones, and lemon poppy but my favourite are the peanut butter. They are crispy on the outside with a creamy peanut butter filling holding the two cookies together. They are terribly delicate and buckle in your hands if you don’t take it all in one bite. They have so much butter and peanut butter in them that the grease seeps right through the paper bag like fish and chips. After Levain bakery, these might well be my favourite cookies in the city.
I’ve always wanted to recreate them- well a version on them. Perhaps one’s that aren’t quite as greasy and with a little less sugar but still maintain the same crisp and delicate texture. I like the malted wholesome flavour that adding a little whole wheat flour to baked goods add- and with a bold flavour like peanut butter you can get away with it without the risk of it seeming…healthy. And perhaps a filling that adds a little contrast but still makes sense to the flavour of the cookie. Raspberry jam? You can fill them with just the jam, but I mixed it with some cream cheese so that they still kept a creamy filling. Like the one’s at ‘Wichcraft, you’ll want to eat them the day you make them or else they turn into a soggy mess (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).
PB&J sandwich cookies
Make these cookies fresh on the day and they will stay crisp on the outside. The dough can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days before baking. Adapted from ‘Wichcraft’s Peanut butter cream’wich cookies.
Makes 20 sandwiches or 40 cookies
90g rolled oats (old fashioned)
60g packed dark brown sugar
130g creamy peanut butter
140g flour (mix of whole wheat and all purpose)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
for the filling
225g/8oz pack cream cheese
100g raspberry jam.
• Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Heat a frying pan over a medium low heat and add your oats to the pan. Toast the oats, tossing or stirring regularly until slightly golden and releasing that toasted smell- about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
• Beat the butter and the sugar until light and creamy. Add the peanut butter and stir to combine. Stir through the remaining ingredients. Cover the bowl and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes or refrigerator for 30 minutes.
• Once the dough has chilled roll it out between sheets of parchment paper until it’s 1/8inch thick (thickness of a one pound coin). Cut out rounds using a 2 inch (5.5cm) cutter and place on a baking sheet. They won’t spread so you don’t need to allow too much room in between.
• Bake in the oven for 12 minutes and allow to cool on the pan before trying to remove.
• For the filling beat together the cream cheese and jam until blended. Spread on the underside of one cookie and sandwich together with another. Repeat with the remaining cookies.