peanut butter and concord grape sandwich cookies

Bake number 55 from Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person officially closes out the Bars & Cookies chapter. These Peanut Butter and Concord Grape Sandwich Cookies were the last recipe to check off our list before we officially move on to the fourth chapter of the book: Layer Cakes & Fancy Desserts.

Lauren’s Take

Happy New Year to all! As I reflect on 2021 and the challenges it has posed to us all, I am exceedingly grateful to have these bakes to look forward to every week—bakes that continue to challenge me in the culinary arts and introduce me to new flavours and techniques! I am very much  looking forward to a new year filled with layer cakes and fancy desserts! But first, we had to complete the final cookie in the book; the PB& (Concord grape) J sandwich cookies.

My overall thoughts/realizations for this cookie;

-peanut butter and jam is an iconic and always delicious combination

-Claire’s log rolling trick never works for me and always turns into oval shapes rather than a perfect circle and there must be a better method

-If you don’t have a round cutter, use the tip of your pastry bag

-this seems like an almost too long process for a peanut butter cookie

Definitely this cookie is delicious; it has a great balance of sweet and salty from the peanut butter (don’t cheap out and use the good stuff, friends), and the tartness of the Concord grape jam pairs perfectly. But is it leaps and bounds better than your average, back of the peanut butter jar cookie recipe? I would have to say not really. Although the sandwich idea is definitely a nice touch.

Overall, not too complicated and a delicious, but not mind-blowing result. 4 stars 🙂

Julia’s Take

Who doesn’t love a peanut butter and jam sandwich? It is classic nostalgic and a flavour combination that screams childhood and comfort food. I was really excited to see Claire’s spin on the classic PB cookie, and thought it was so creative of her to take this concept of a peanut butter and jam sandwich and turn it in to a cookie!

I also am a huge fan of grape jam; in my opinion, maybe other than raspberry, it is the superior of all jams. I had some leftover concord grapes in my freezer from when we made the Apple and Concord Grape Crumble Pie a few months back, so I was able to make the concord grape jam from scratch using the recipe in the book. Concord grapes have such an incredible flavour, and the jam turned out great, but overall I’d say it’s not really worth the effort. If you’re making a huge batch of jam, then fine– but just for a cookie recipe, I’d recommend going out and buying the premade stuff and saving yourself the time.

The cookie recipe in general was a bit finnicky and more time-consuming than it needed to be. The texture and flavour was amazing in the end, as always, but I wasn’t convinced by the end that every step was worth it. I would also probably use a circle cookie cutter to shape things next time, because I cannot for the life of me get the log method to work.

All that said, the people I shared these cookies with raved about them. It’s a 4-star bake for me.

Coming up next: we venture in to the Layer Cakes & Fancy Desserts chapter, starting with Claire’s Classic Birthday Cake. We’re nervous and excited for the recipes to come. Wish us luck!

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