In a perfect world, this would be purely a baking blog where I posted one decadent dessert after the other, but since this is not a perfect world I often struggle with my desire to make these decadent desserts and the reality of trying to be a healthier (and lighter) person. It’s especially hard in a two person household where a whole cake can be entirely too much…and entirely too tempting. So I’ve found the key is to make what I want, but try to give as much away as possible. This strategy has been working out well lately and Brandon’s coworkers seem to be quite happy to eat all of our extra sweets. We also regularly attend a Saturday game night and that has turned out to be the perfect event for trying out new cookie recipes. I get to satisfy my sweet tooth but by the end of the night all the cookies are gone so I don’t have anything tempting me the next day.
I made these Magic Peanut Butter Middles for our last game night and they were a giant hit with everyone there. One person told me that they must have crack in them because she couldn’t stop eating them. Well, I can assure you the filling inside does not have crack in it, but it is made with peanut butter and powdered sugar which is quite an addictive combo in its own right. The cookie is chocolate with even more peanut butter mixed in the dough, which makes them soft and chewy on the outside. Basically these are like peanut butter cups, but in cookie form. If you like chocolate and peanut butter you’ll love these cookies.
I wound up making these twice since I realized after making the first batch that it was not going to be enough cookies for everyone. The original instructions I followed were a pain and frankly, I thought they did a disservice to the cookies. You are supposed to roll the peanut butter filling into little balls, but that takes forever and when I was done the chocolate dough had dried out and it was difficult to fold it around the peanut butter and then when I flattened the cookie at the end, the sides cracked open. Not pretty!
The second time I made these I changed up the process and it was much easier and faster and the cookies came out perfect. You don’t need to bother rolling the filling into balls, it’s totally unnecessary! Just scoop out the filling and plop it right in the middle of a flattened disc of cookie dough and fold the dough around it. If you set all the ingredients up in front of you, you can bang these cookies out in about 10 minutes whereas my first attempt took more than double that time. Much better!
They may take a little bit of work, but I assure these cookies are worth every minute when you watch someone bite into one and get that first taste of peanut butter. The name says it all, these cookies really are magical!
Magic Peanut Butter Middles
Dessert, Cookies | Servings: about 3 dozen
Prep time: 40 min | Cook time: 9 minutes | Total time: 1 hour
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup sugar, plus more for dipping the top of the cookie into
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or just use an ungreased sheet if you don’t have parchment). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, blend together the powdered sugar and 3/4 cup peanut butter. Place in the fridge to chill while you make the cookie dough.
- In medium bowl stir together the flour, cocoa and baking soda.
- In large mixer bowl beat together both sugars, butter and 1/2 cup peanut butter until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at time, beating well after each. Mix in vanilla.
- Mix in flour mixture until blended.
- Line everything up starting with your dough, then the peanut butter filling, then the cookie sheet. Fill a shallow dish with a couple of handfuls of sugar and place this by the cookie sheet. Lastly, get a glass with a wide bottom. If you’re lazy like me, you can do all of this on your kitchen table so you can sit down!
- Take a generous tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. If the dough is too sticky, flour your hands. Flatten the ball into a thin disc (about 1/4-inch thick). Take a big pinch (1/2 to 3/4 tsp.) of peanut butter filling and place it in the middle of disc. Fold the chocolate dough around the peanut butter and roll back into a ball. Dip the top of the dough ball into sugar. Place on the cookie sheet, sugar side up. Gently flatten the ball with the bottom of your glass. Each cookie should be about 1/2-inch thick. Repeat, spacing each cookie about 1-inch apart (after flattening) on the sheet.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes. When cookies are done, they should be set and slightly cracked. Leave on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool.