Magic in the middle cookies
Credit: Stacy Spensley (notahipster on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Magic Pillows? Yes

Some of you might be familiar with Magic in the Middles, a recipe that the 225-year-old flour company King Arthur has in their cookbook and on their website.

As you can see, they are chocolate cookies with a peanut butter center.

Last year, I browsed a similar version of these cookies in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. They called them Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows.

I've been promising to make these cookies with WowButter ever since Christmas when I received a bag of organic cocoa from a friend.

Then, I decided to keep the words magic and pillow to name my cookies because WowButter is the abracadabra magical answer for anyone with a peanut allergy.

And who doesn't like a pillow?

Even if you don't have a peanut allergy, WowButter is a versatile, healthy, gluten-free spread that mixes beautifully into sauces, cooked meals, and baked items.[1] It is an excellent source of omega-3s and has a low-glycemic index. In fact, WowButter is a complete protein.[2]

My Inspiration and Tweaks

The King Arthur Flour company provides a wonderful basic recipe[3] online; perfect for tweaking (albeit with peanut butter). And I was impressed by how the "pillow" cookies turned out on Oh She Glows.[4]

I was grateful to find the creative commons photos (shown as my intro and below) by Stacy Spensley on flickr. She made these cookies with a combination of whole wheat pastry flour and bread flour.[5]

My mission? To make these gorgeous cookies gluten-free, peanut-free, and just as yummy. But if you aren't on a gluten-free diet, just use regular flour (in the same amount) and omit the xanthan gum.

Magic in the Middles
Credit: Stacy Spensley (notahipster on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

My Ingredients

Ingredients for Magic WowButter Pillow Cookies
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

G-F Magic WowButter Pillow Cookies

Makes: 20 - 24 | Prep: 45 mins | Total: 1 hour

These are better than eating Reese's peanut butter cups. No chocolate will melt on your fingers, they are more satisfying, and much healthier. Just one of these cookies with a coffee keeps me satisfied.

Make Ahead Tip: Add 2 tbsp. of milk to the dough (it tends to dry out the longer it sits). The milk prevents the outside crust of the chocolate dough from cracking when you assemble these cookies. I add 2 - 3 tbsp. of unsweetened evaporated milk to mine (last) if the dough seems dry.

Ingredients for Chocolate Cookie Part:

WowButter Sent Me 6 Free Jars of WowButter!Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved1.5 cups G-F all-purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if using regular flour)
1/2 cup Dutch-process organic unsweetened cocoa powder OR unsweetened baking cocoa 
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened (if using unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp. salt to the recipe)
1/4 cup Creamy WowButter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

If dough is dry: 2 - 3 tbsp. unsweetened evaporated milk (or regular milk)

WowButter Filling:

1/2 cup WowButter (Creamy or Crunchy)
1/2 cup pure icing sugar (aka confectioners' sugar)

Directions:

Mixing Dry Ingredients With Wet for Magic WowButter Pillow CookiesCredit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reservedIn a medium bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour and xanthan gum. Then add cocoa, baking soda and salt (if you are using unsalted butter) and combine well.
 
In a larger bowl, mix the softened butter with both sugars and add 1/4 cup Creamy WowButter. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
 
Add the dry cocoa mixture to the buttery-Magic WowButter Pillow Cookie Centers Place in Freezer for 5 MinutesCredit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reservedsugar mixture (a little at a time) until everything is "just combined." Don't overwork the dough. Set dough in fridge while you make the filling (it's easier to work with). 

In a small-medium bowl, mix 1/2 cup WowButter (Creamy or Crunchy) with 1/2 cup pure icing sugar. If you don't want the filling too sweet, you can use a little pure corn starch in place of the icing sugar.
 
Adding Unsweetened Evaporated Milk to Chocolate Cookie DoughCredit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reservedScoop 1 tsp. of the filling and roll it into balls. Place them on a lightly floured platter. TIP: A little G-F flour on the palm of your hands helps prevent them from getting too sticky. I ended up with 26 WowButter-icing sugar "centers." 
 
Wash your hands and place the WowButter "centers" in the freezer. Just 5 minutes in the freezer makes them easier to work with. 

Adjust your oven racks so cookies will bake dead center of your oven and preheat to 360 F (182 C). I found 375 F too high the first time (could be my oven is a bit on the hot side, Making Thumb Indentation in Chocolate Cookie Dough for WowButter CenterCredit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reservedthough). Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper (or lightly grease it) and set nearby your working area.
 
Next, take the chocolate cookie dough out of the fridge and scoop 1 tbsp. of dough. Roll it in your hands to form a ball, flatten it a bit and make an indentation with your thumb in the center. I usually end up adding unsweetened evaporated milk (or regular milk) to moisten the dough. 

Concealing WowButter Center in Chocolate Cookie DoughCredit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reservedThen add a WowButter-icing sugar ball to the center and seal up the edges. You should have a ball of dough (a bit smaller than a golf ball) that is surrounded by chocolate cookie dough. And only you know what's in the center. 
 
Place each cookie dough ball about 2-inches apart on your baking sheet(s). I flattened my cookies slightly (I like the pillow look). 

Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes (or until you smell the chocolate). They cook on the pan for a couple of mins when you pull them out to cool. Transfer them to a cooling rack for another 5 minutes (if you can wait that long).
 
TIP: If you need to reuse your cookie sheet, allow it to completely cool first, otherwise the second batch won't turn out the same (or be prepared to pull them out sooner).
Magic WowButter Pillow Cookies in Oven
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Inside the Magic WowButter Pillow Cookie

Magic WowButter Pillow Cookie Broken in Half
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

WOWBUTTER

Peanut Free Soy Butter Spread - Creamy - 17.6 oz

WOWBUTTER Peanut Free Soy Butter Spread - Creamy - 17.6 oz RoseWrites 2015-03-16 5.0 0 5
5/5

A Wonderful, Healthy Peanut-Free Spread

WOWBUTTER Peanut Free Soy Butter Spread - Creamy - 17.6 oz
Amazon Price: $6.19 $5.62 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 22, 2015)
WowButter is available in various quantities and sizes from Amazon. I always have Creamy WowButter on hand and Crunchy WowButter is great for the center filling of these cookies (and for my world famous WowButter Nanaimo Bars).

Milk and Cocoa

Best brothers, Best friends
Credit: Ryusuke on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Premium Organic Raw Cacao/Cocoa Powder

Premium Organic Raw Cacao/Cocoa Powder, Rich Dark Chocolate Taste - 1lb/16oz bag RoseWrites 2015-03-16 5.0 0 5
5/5

Premium Organic Raw Cacao/Cocoa Powder

Premium Organic Raw Cacao/Cocoa Powder, Rich Dark Chocolate Taste - 1lb/16oz bag
Amazon Price: $29.95 $15.97 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 22, 2015)
This was a gift from a friend and I must admit, it's excellent. It is not required for my recipe, I've used Dutch-processed cocoa powder and had wonderful results. The Dutch process removes some of the acidity from natural cocoa powder.

But hey, if you want to splurge, this is good stuff.