PEANUTS™ will always have a place in my heart. Perhaps it’s because I grew up watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas, so PEANUTS™ will also be associated with my favourite holidays and all the positive sentiments that come with it. When I found out that Williams Sonoma was releasing a PEANUTS™ collection for springtime, I knew I would get at least one piece of bakeware adorn with Snoopy and the crew to add to my collection. The PEANUTS™ Spring Silicone Cookie Stamps really caught my eye (and pulled at my heart strings) and I immediately started dreaming about all the cookies I could make with them. It was my first time using a wooden cookie stamp with interchangeable silicone discs with the designs. I was much more familiar with cookie punches but my oh my, silicone cookie stamps are a dream to work with! I lightly floured my cookie dough and nothing (and I mean NOTHING) got stuck to the cookie cutter. They’re perhaps the most fuss-free cookie stamps I’ve ever worked with. I was left with beautiful and intricate design on each of my cookies. The designs created deep imprints that didn’t lose it’s details while baking.
Because these cookie stamps are so special, I needed to create a really special cookie with them. There are cookies… then there are sandwich cookies. Each of these sandwich cookies feature two PEANUTS™ shortbread cookies, a cream cheese swiss meringue buttercream, and strawberry jam. Each bite tastes like you’re eating strawberry cheesecake.
I always get questions about how I’m able to get the designs on my cookies to stay and not fade during the baking process. Here are a tips I can share from baking so many stamped shortbread cookies during the holidays:
- Choose a recipe that produces a crisp cookie (not a soft and chewy one): the best type of cookies for stamped designs are shortbread cookies and crisp sugar cookies. These recipes tend to have zero (or just very little) leavening agents or eggs, which causes the dough to rise and puff up during the baking process.
- Don’t over-whip your butter: the butter and sugar mixture should be creamy and soft, but not too pale and fluffy (like when you’re making cake batter). When you whip the sugar and butter for too long or too vigorously, you’re creating too many little air bubbles in the dough that can cause the cookies to puff up while baking.
- Make sure the cookie cut outs are cold: before I bake any stamped cookies, I always (ALWAYS!) freeze them until they are firm. When you freeze the cookies before putting them in the oven, they will hold their shape and design a lot better.
Thank you Williams Sonoma Canada for supporting this blog!
Strawberry Cheesecake Sandwich Cookies
- 227 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 115 g (1 cup) powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 260 g (2 cups and 3 tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 60 g (~ 1 1/2) egg whites, room temperature
- 70 g (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
- 115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla at medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until combined.
- In between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out dough to ¼-inch in thickness. Lightly flour the cookie stamp/cutter and press. Transfer cut outs to prepared baking sheet, placing cookies 2 inches apart.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer for 10 minutes. Freezing cut out cookies before baking will help preserve the design and shape of the cookies.
- Bake until the edges are lightly golden brown, about 12 – 14 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.
Cheesecake Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Place the egg whites and sugar into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk by hand to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water set on medium heat. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Heat, whisking often, until the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture hot to the touch.
- Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with a whisk attachment. Whisk, on medium-high speed, for 5 – 6 minutes, or until the mixture holds stiff peaks. The bowl should no longer be hot to the touch and the meringue should be glossy and cool.
- Stop the mixer and swap the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment.
- Add in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until it is all incorporated.
- Add in the cream cheese, vanilla, and salt. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to beat until the buttercream is thick and silky smooth, 5 more minutes. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip.
- Turn over half of the cookies, they will be the bottom cookies.
- Pipe a ring of cream cheese buttercream on the bottom cookie. This will act as a barrier for the jam centers.
- Take half a heaping tablespoon of jam and fill the centre. Sandwich the top cookie and press lightly. Repeat with remaining cookies until all cookies are filled.