This is my cookie take on the all American; "peanut butter and jelly sandwich" a food concept I don't think any non-American can get their head around. Jelly or jam and peanut butter seems like the oddest combo ever (in fairness this is coming from the woman who now eats Vegemite everyday for brekkie). I do agree when you try peanut butter and jelly it is pretty nice. It just sounds utterly bizarre...
HOMEMADE RASPBERRY JAM
500g box frozen raspberries
3 tbsp cup caster sugar
1 small apple, peeled, cored + finely grated
1 cup water
125g unsalted butter
4 cups icing sugar, sifted twice
2 tbsp milk
Seeds from 2 vanilla pods
85g butter, softened
2 heaped tbsp natural peanut butter
70g good quality dark chocolate, melted
40g icing sugar, sifted
150g plain flour, sifted
25g custard powder, sifted
To make the raspberry jam, add all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat, reduce to medium/low and simmer for approx. 20 - 25 mins or until the liquid has reduced by 3/4 the original volume, and the fruit starts to become thick and "jam" like. Stir the fruit often whilst it's simmering. Remove from heat and allow to cool thoroughly.
To make the butter cream; place butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for 10-12 minutes until really light and fluffy, turn speed down and, using a large spoon, add the twice sifted icing sugar into the butter spoon-by-spoon until well incorporated. Continue to beat for a further 10-12 minutes. I find the longer you beat butter cream the better and lighter it will be. The results are worth the time and patience. Add the vanilla pods and milk and whip a little more to combine. Remove butter cream from bowl and transfer into a piping bag fitted with a star-shape nozzle.Set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 180˚C/350˚F and pre-line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. Add softened butter into the same stand mixer bowl (cleaned out from the previous butter cream) and whip until light and fluffy - about 6 minutes for this stage. Add the peanut butter and melted chocolate and beat to combine. Add the sifted icing sugar, flour and custard powder and combine together thoroughly. Roll cookie dough into balls roughly a little large than a walnut and place on pre-lined baking sheets 4cm apart, dip a fork in icing sugar and press tines into the tops of the cookies and press down lightly. Repeat until all dough is used up then bake in the pre-heated oven for approx. 20 - 25 minutes before removing and allowing to cool thoroughly.
To assemble, pipe butter cream onto the flat side of one cookie piece, top with 1/2 teaspoon jam and sandwich together with a second cookie half. Dust with icing sugar (optional) and serve at