Peanut Butter Fudge Sandwich Cookies

One of James’ delightful traditions is a Sunday night “Wine and Unwind” gathering in the stage manager’s office.  He’ll bake some decadent treat and pair it with a sturdy red wine to send everyone into the day off.  He’s currently working on “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” — on a show as fraught with drama as that one (onstage, not off!) everyone definitely needs a way to unwind.

Last week’s invitation went something like this:

Image

Here’s the recipe for the Peanut Butter Fudge Sandwich Cookies (oh, my teeth hurt just reading through it1):

Peanut Butter Fudge Sandwich Cookies

1 1/2 cups Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup softened butter*
1/2 cup softened margarine*
2 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

*Backstage Baker’s note:
For cookies that are softer use 1 cup of shortening instead of the butter and margarine.

Filling:
1 (14 ounce) can  Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
For Cookies: Beat peanut butter, butter, margarine, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs. Beat just until blended.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add to creamed mixture and mix with wooden spoon until blended. Drop by level tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Press down with bottom of a glass or the traditional way of making a cross hatch with a fork.

Bake 6 to 7 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For Filling: Microwave sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in medium microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth when stirred. Stir in vanilla. Let cool 15 minutes. Spread generously on flat side of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat side down, to form sandwich cookies.

(Pictures for the above are on the home page of this blog!)

The wine was a La Pilar Malbec courtesy of an anonymous fan who insisted on giving Amy Morton (who plays Martha) $40 to buy drinks for the company.  I hope she reads this and knows that her contribution was thoroughly enjoyed.

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