My fascination with retro desserts began with my mom’s love for the original peanut-shaped cookie of my childhood. She would have gladly passed up a meal for a cup of coffee and a plate of Nutter Butters.
I didn’t mess with the recipe too much. I just combined two great recipes into one fantastic dessert: oatmeal raisin cookies (minus the raisins) and my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. It’s the same as the original, only better. You may call me cocky or foolish to think that I could improve on a classic, but you should try my cookies before you decide. I know my mom would think they’re awesome.
To make the cookies, position racks in the upper middle and lower middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Add the oatmeal and peanuts and stir until well blended.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until soft and smooth. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the peanut butter and beat for 30 seconds or until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
Using a 1-tablespoon ice cream scoop, shape the dough into balls and arrange them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each mound slightly.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, switching the baking sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until golden brown around the edges.
Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container until ready to fill, or for up to 5 days.
To make the filling, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the confectioners’ sugar, butter, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until soft and smooth.
Scrape the filling onto a work surface and shape it into an 18-inch-long log. Cut the log into 1-inch pieces. Arrange 1/2 the cooled cookies bottom side up on a work surface. Put one piece of filling in the center of each cookie. Don’t be afraid to overstuff these — the more filling the better. Top with the remaining cookies, top side up, and press gently to push the filling to the edge.
Store in an airtight container until ready to serve, or for up to 2 to 3 days.