Something I like to do with my cooking is playing with flavours. It’s endlessly fascinating to me is how certain foods so disparate and seemingly at odds with each other can taste amazing together. Strawberries and goats cheese. Chocolate and basil. Honey and rosemary.
But there are also times when you don’t want to be testing your tastebuds. When you want something tried and true, classic – a combination that brings childhood memories flooding back with one taste. For those times, I bring you this recipe.
Can you get much better than chocolate and peanut butter? These cookies are my new favourite interpretation of that well-worn combination. The crispy outer shell of the brownie cookie gives way to a soft, chewy, intensely chocolate center, offset by the silky saltiness of the peanut butter and mascarpone filling. Sweet, salty, rich. I dare you to stop at one!
Peanut Butter Mascarpone Brownie Cookie Sandwiches
Adapted from Donna Hay’s Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies.
300g / 10 1/2 oz. dark chocolate
60g / 2 oz. unsalted butter
225g / 1 heaped cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
50g / 1/2 scant cup plain flour
1/2 scant tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Prepare baking trays by lining them with baking powder.
Melt the chocolate and butter together and set aside to cool.
In a stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for 10 minutes or until very thick and pale.
Carefully fold through the flour, baking powder, salt and cooled chocolate mixture.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes for the mixture to stiffen.
Drop tablespoons or pipe the mixture* onto the prepared baking trays, leaving room for the cookies to spread.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges have hardened and the cookies are puffed up and cracked. Allow to cool completely on the trays.
* I traced circles on the baking paper using a 1 1/8″ cookie cutter and piped the mixture. This makes it easier to get consistently sized cookies.
Peanut Butter Mascarpone Filling
130g / 4 1/2 oz. smooth peanut butter
115g / 4 oz. mascarpone
125ml / 1/2 cup thickened (heavy) cream
3 tbsp. icing (powdered) sugar
1 tsp. salt*
In a bowl mix together the peanut butter, mascarpone and salt.
In a separate bowl combine the cream and icing sugar and beat to stiff peaks.
Fold the cream through the peanut butter mixture and refrigerate until needed.
* The amount of sugar and salt you add will depend on the type of peanut butter you use, as some are sweeter or saltier than others. Taste as you go!
Once the cookies are fully cooled, use a spatula to carefully lift them off the trays.
Pipe the filling onto one cookie and sandwich with a second.
The cookies themselves are quite fragile, so I recommend that you pipe rather than spread the filling.