Inspired by memories of Burry’s Gaucho sandwich cookie
My mother-in-law was recently describing a chocolate cookie covered in chocolate frosting that her childhood piano teacher used to serve after lessons. I kept asking questions, trying to get enough clues to come up with a similar recipe for her. But her description was too vague – full of emotional tones rather than facts, just as one might expect from a cherished memory some sixty-five years old.
A favorite childhood cookie of mine was from a box, Burry’s Gauchos. I recall it as an oatmeal cookie, with a sweet-salty peanut butter filling (apparently Girl Scout Do-si-dos are similar).
My recipe derives from a 2006 article in the New York Times for the Bouchon Bakery’s “Nutter Butter.” It has the elements of a homemade, old-fashioned cookie: rolled oats, peanut butter, brown sugar, and loads of butter. I love this cookie, though it really isn’t a Gaucho. Maybe if I added more oatmeal and less butter the cookie might be closer to my memory. But as it stands, it’s actually superior in quality – a very satisfying cookie for kids or adults.
I’ve also used the filling for a chocolate cake that reminiscent of Drake’s Funny Bones, the way I remember them – soft devils food chocolate cake, creamy, peanuty filling and a firm, peelable chocolate shell.
Do not double this recipe as dough is quite stiff.
1 c AP flour
1c light whole wheat (you can substitute 1/2c almond flour for 1/2 c ww)
2 t baking powder
4 t baking soda
.25 t fleur de sel
1.5 c unsalted butter, softened
2/3 peanut butter, smooth or chunky (if you chose chunky you might eliminate nuts from recipe)
1 c granulated sugar
1 c light brown sugar, packed
2 lg eggs
1.5 t vanilla
2 2/3 c rolled oats
1/3 c coarsely chopped peanuts (salted is fine) – optional
4 T softened butter
2 oz melted white chocolate
½ creamy peanut butter*
1 c 10x sugar
1 pinch sea salt
Time: about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cookie sheets lined with parchment.
In a separate bowl mix flours, baking powder, soda and salt.
In a standing mixer (or by hand) cream butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat for about 4 minutes, batter will be very light and aerated. Scrape bowl down twice during this mixing.
At a lower speed add eggs one at a time, and then add vanilla. Add flour mixture and combine, scraping bowl. Add oats and nuts. This is stiff dough.
Using a small melon baller or two teaspoons, scoop small mounds onto a parchment- or silpat-lined cookie sheet. (Err on the side of a smaller cookie since you will be sandwiching them). Place about 2” apart, cookies will spread. Bake 10 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove from oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes until firm, then move cookies to a cooling rack.
For filling: In a double boiler on the lowest possible heat melt 2 oz of white chocolate. Be careful not to overheat or the white chocolate will seize. When the chocolate is partially melted remove pot from heat and keep stirring chocolate. When melted and smooth, use an electric mixer (or by hand) to combine butter, peanut butter and sugar until very smooth.
To assemble: Pair cookies by size, spread a generous layer on underside of one cookie, top with a similar sized cookie to sandwich.
Yields approx 40 cookie sandwiches.
* If you are using unsalted peanut butter you will want to add more salt to the filling recipe. Try 1/4t, taste and adjust
Melting chocolate in a microwave: I don’t have a microwave but here are some tips for melting white chocolate: http://www.the-chocolate-spot.com/melting-white-chocolate.html