Peanut Butter Alfajores

3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup plus 3 heaping tablespoons creamy peanut butter, divided

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup bottled dulce de leche

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Beat butter and 1/2 cup peanut butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add both sugars, beating well. Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. 

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut with small cookie cutters in desired shapes and place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, stir the dulce de leche and remaining 3 heaping tablespoons peanut butter together until smooth.  Spread a thin layer onto the flat side of half the cooled cookies, then place the remaining cookies on top, flat side in to make a sandwich.

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