By Lindsay Yousey, Owner Serious Business Pastries
Here at Serious Business Pastries, our Peanut Butter-n-Jelly Sandwich Cookie is developing a bit of a cult following. Customers constantly ask me how I came up with the idea, in the “but of course!” sort of way that suggests to me that I may just have stumbled upon the one logical endpoint for the peanut butter cookie. This is the story of how I got there.
The simple peanut butter cookie is a humble creation, one that’s very often done wrong. It can either be too sweet, too floury, too dry, not fudgy enough — the list goes on. Over the years I’ve had my fair share of subpar peanut butter cookie experiences, and that’s a shame because I have such a penchant for all-things peanut butter. In talking with people around Portland, I noticed that we shared a common experience: We could name where a person could obtain the best French baguette, the best sausages, the best seasonal produce, the best cupcakes. But no one could say for certain who had the best peanut butter cookies.
When I started developing the bakery’s menu, I made it my goal to create a standout peanut butter cookie that would cause people to fall in love with it all over again. I wanted the cookie itself to harken back to its origins, prior to Pillsbury’s popularizing of the criss-cross marks; a baked treat that contained simple ingredients, but had a quirky, almost endearing, component to it that would set it apart from the competition. I wanted to create a cookie that would excite people, because dessert should excite people. If it doesn’t, then it’s just wasted calories. Food is necessary to sustain life, but dessert isn’t. Since dessert is not a requirement for everyday living, it ought to be worth every penny and every calorie.
And so, after careful thought, and a lot of daydreaming, the Peanut Butter-n-Jelly Sandwich Cookie came into existence. The idea made perfect sense. Two delicious, soft, tender, peanut butter cookies, sandwiched and held together in absolute harmony by Oregonian jam and a housemade peanut butter filling.
I made certain to include some of the best ingredients available — those found in Oregon, of course! All of Serious Business Pastries’s wheat-based products have either Bob’s Red Mill, or Shepherd’s Grain Flour; the PB&J Sandwich Cookie is no exception. The cookies also contain locally produced butter, as well as eggs from either cage-free or pasture raised chickens at either Stiebrs Farms, or Champoeg Farms. The cookie’s filling contains rich European-style butter from Larsen Creamery in Clackamas, as well as Oregonian honey from either Oregon Growers and Shippers, Wessel’s Family Honey, or from one of the many farmers who sell at the weekly Portland Farmers’ Market. I make certain that I source all the jam from one or more farms in Oregon as well. For much of the year you’ll find raspberry jam in the middle of the cookies, because they’re my favorite berry, and Oregon grows the best raspberries I have ever had the privilege of trying. But when marionberries come into season I like to honor this very Oregon fruit by using marionberry jam.
You can find this delicious creation, and more scrumptious treats, at the Serious Business Pastries booth at the Northwest Thursday Farmers Market (June 7-September 27). I hope to see you there!
Lindsay Yousey, Owner