Do not even ask me why I suddenly got the hankering to make homemade nutter butters. A) I haven’t had a storebought nutter butter cookie in well over 10 years, B) I’m not super keen on cookies without chocolate and C) I don’t have a peanut shaped cookie cutter (hence the circle nutter butters).
But hankering, I got. I think the seed may have been planted when my 7-year old got a package of nutter butters after his last soccer game and while he was oohing and aahing while shoving them in his mouth (the poor, sheltered child had no idea what they were and had never tasted one before), I had this strong, inner desire to make homemade nutter butters so tasty, so fantastic, he’d never ooh and aah over another storebought, cardboard-tasting nutter butter again.
I have issues. I know.
It took some tweaking and several batches, but happily, a recipe for stellar nutter butter cookies wasn’t too terribly difficult. I didn’t want a soft, chewy peanut butter cookie but neither did I want a dry, crackly cookie. Somewhere in the middle. While I usually don’t use specialty ingredients, this recipe does call for rice flour. If you can find it, I highly recommend using it (I ground some jasmine rice from my pantry through my wheat grinder but I’ve seen this in the baking aisle by other specialty flours). It lends a delightful and tender crispy-lightness to the cookies. If not, try them with all regular flour – they might be slightly heavier, but I have a feeling, they’ll still be terrific (alternately, you could definitely try using all rice flour to make a gluten-free version).
Sandwiched with just a smidgeon of creamy, peanut buttery filling, these homemade nutter butters are pretty darn yummy. My 7-year old, after tasting these, diplomatically declared: “I love all nutter butters equally!” but after catching him snitching two more illegally off the cooling rack, I’m declaring this a point in favor of homemade nutter butters all the way.
My version has cookies slightly thicker and just a tad chewier than the originals and of course the flavor is a bit fresher and the shape isn’t at all authentic – so do they taste exactly like storebought nutter butters? Probably not, but that was kind of the point. (And just so I don’t get any hate mail from lovers of nutter butters in the red package, keep in mind that in the life of this blog, I’ll probably try to make a homemade version of just about everything so don’t take it personally.)
I threw a Halloween spin onto several of them by drizzling almond bark across (just swishing it across with a fork like in this video) and planting two mini chocolate chips for eyes. When the kids exclaimed: “Wow! Mummies! Cool!” I decided not to divulge how simple it was to create those wow, cool, mummies.
Homemade Nutter Butter Cookies
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (4.75 ounces) – see note
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar (5 ounces)
- 2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar (5 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose four (5 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups rice flour (7 1/2 ounces) – see note
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (about 7 ounces) – see note
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (6 ounces)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4-6 tablespoons cream or milk
- 1/3-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- In a large bowl (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer), mix together the butter, peanut butter, granulated and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for another 2-3 minutes until the batter is light and creamy.
- Stir in the soda, salt, flour and rice flour until well-combined. Chill the dough for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line one or two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside.
- Portion the dough into balls about 1/2 ounce each (a couple tablespoons of dough per ball). Space them a couple inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and using a fork, make a criss-cross pattern in the top, flattening the balls to about 1/4-inch thick or less while doing so.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
- For the filling, stir together the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt until smooth and well-combined. Gradually stir in the cream or milk until a soft, spreadable but sturdy texture is reached (you don’t want it runny). Stir in the graham cracker crumbs.
- Spread a teaspoon or so of filling on the bottom side of half the cookies and top with the unfilled cookies (so bottom halves are sandwiching the filling).
- For mummy style: melt white almond bark until smooth and runny. Using a fork (a video demonstration of this method is here), drizzle the almond bark across the top of the cookies to mimic the lines of a mummy. Immediately press two mini chocolate chips into the soft almond bark for eyes. Let the cookies set for a few minutes until the almond bark hardens.
I used no-stir natural peanut butter for both the cookies and the filling; I’m guessing regular creamy peanut butter will work, too, and I think you could also experiment with chunky peanut butter.
Also, I know rice flour is a bit of a specialty ingredient but it definitely adds a wonderful light, crispiness to the cookies. Truly delightful. I ground some jasmine rice from my pantry through my wheat grinder and used that, but you should be able to find rice flour in most grocery stores with a good gluten-free or alternative flour section (I’ve seen it sometimes above the flour in the baking section). If worse comes to worse, I think the cookies would still be yummy with all flour (measure with a light hand so they aren’t dry and dense!) and conversely, I bet all rice flour would be fabulous, too, and would help them convert more easily to be gluten-free.
Finally, yes, you could definitely cut them out in the traditional peanut shape but I was too lazy and they tasted just as delicious as circles.
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