And I think they're super cute, and I really want to like them, but they still just don't taste that good. This particular batch was peanut butter and chocolate, and they were dry and bready and tasteless. Neither flavor shone brightly enough and the texture underwhelmed. Did I mention that I overbaked them by at least a minute? That certainly didn't improve matters. On the plus side, my little guy needed a special project while his big sister had a friend over, so he helped me slice and bake them. That was fun for both of us.
The kids happily ate the cookies, but their cookie palates aren't terribly discerning. I was muddling over what to do with the rest of the dough. But then... I got creative! And my invention worked out pretty well! The secret weapon? A half-teaspoon of soft, dark, chocolate ganache stuffed in the middle of two superthinlysliced dough rounds. Almost like a reverse peanut butter cup: peanut butter on the outside with chocolate middles. Any more filling and it would have oozed out the top and sides, but this tiny scoop of ganache melted into the inside of the cookie as it baked, adding a richness and fudginess that wasn't there before. (I had leftover ganache to experiment with, so this was truly a marriage made in heaven. Cleaned out my freezer AND improved these cookies in one fell swoop.)
You'll notice the two styles of cookie look pretty different. They're from two separate logs of cookie dough. One had a spiral effect and the other was marbled (which was my intent). Both were made using the same method: I rolled out both doughs separately into rectangles and placed the chocolate on top of the peanut butter. (That just sounds dirty.) Then I folded the dough in half, folded it in half again, rolled it into a log, and refrigerated it before slicing and baking.
To make the stuffed cookies, I sliced the dough less than 1/8" thick, scooped on the ganache, topped it with another sliver of dough, and pressed the edges together. They have a slightly rustic (read: non-uniform) look, so I didn't fuss too much with keeping them perfectly round. Here, the fudgy interior almost looks undercooked, but it was just right after 10 minutes of baking. The tops of some of the stuffed cookies collapsed and cracked just a little as the ganache changed shape, but that didn't seem to bother anyone.
I still think pinwheel/marble cookies are really cute, but I'm not going to seek out a better base recipe. They might work as a sandwich cookie with a really delicious filling, but I think I'll search for greener pastures in the cookie world. However, as a resuscitation effort, this merits a gold star!