Sparkling Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Peanut butter and chocolate is a classic combination that's displayed at its finest here. The filling in this cookie, from Eleanor King of Towson, is made with peanut butter, cream cheese and honey, giving the cookie a hint of flavor of the best comfort food, a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Totally decadent and with a bit of sugary sparkle, it's clear why these are a favorite among King's family.

Makes: 25 cookies

For the cookies:

1 cup butter, cubed

2 tablespoons shortening

1 cup baking cocoa

1/2 cup chocolate syrup

1/4 cup peanut butter, smooth

3 eggs

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon honey

In a large saucepan, melt butter and shortening over low heat, remove from heat; stir in cocoa, chocolate syrup and peanut butter until smooth. Cool. Beat eggs and sugar until lemon-colored. Beat in the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the chocolate mixture. Make dough into 1 teaspoon size balls and roll and cover in coarse or sanding sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets, 2 inches apart, flatten with a sugared glass. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes; cool.

To make filling, mix cream cheese, peanut butter and honey. Spread filling on bottoms of half of the cookies, top with remaining cookies, bottom sides down.

Algerina Perna, The Baltimore Sun
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