Magic Peanut Butter Middles

Magic Peanut Butter Middles

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.

Magic Peanut Butter Middles

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!

Magic Peanut Butter Middles

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

Magic Peanut Butter Middles

adapted from

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In medium bowl stir together the flour, cocoa and baking soda.
  4. In large mixer bowl beat together both sugars, butter and 1/2 cup peanut butter until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at time, beating well after each. Mix in vanilla.
  6. Mix in flour mixture until blended.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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  1. I’ve been meaning to make these cookies for ages. I don’t know what’s been stopping me! Probably the fear that I would eat them all myself, before I had a chance to get them away. PB and chocolate is one of my all-time favorite combos 🙂

    PS. Love the photos!

  2. You had me at Magic PB 🙂 RT @Emiline220 {new post} Magic Peanut Butter Middles #recipe

  3. These have to be one of my favorite cookies! I think I used the same recipe from Allrecipes–my family went nuts over them!

  4. I forgot to add baking desserts is my favorite too, and I also force other people to eat my stuff so I don’t end up enormous. I think it’s the unspoken secret to food blogging!

  5. I know exactly what you mean about balancing the sweets when you have a food blog. We go to dinner at my brother’s house on Sundays and that’s usually when I get the sweets in for the week. No leftovers are a good thing when you make a decadent dessert once a week. These cookies look delicious. I’ve seen the recipe and wondered if they were as good as they sounded. Looks like they are.

  6. I also have been wanting to make these forever. I will try them out for sure!

  7. Oh. My. Goodness!!! These look terrific! You can never go wrong with chocolate and PB! Can’t wait to make these!

  8. Hoping the Easter Bunny fills my basket with @Emiline220 Magic Peanut Butter Middles

  9. YUM these look amazing, I can’t wait to try!

  10. I really need to make more stuffed cookies! I always love finding a surprise center inside what you think is a regular cookie=)

  11. Thank you for sharing your experience of how you found an easier way to make these Magic Peanut Butter Middles cookies. I appreciate hearing personal experiences and helpful tips. I was just thinking this morning as I woke up and opened my refrigerator how much I love the combo of chocolate and peanut butter. That was a few hours ago, and now I was checking out who won the Top 9 on Foodbuzz and voila a fabulous recipe was waiting for me. Congratulations on making the Top 9. I also must mention how beautifully you have styled and photographed your photographs.

  12. Peanut butter cups in cookie form? Um, yes please. Typically I don’t like desserts that require a lot of work (I guess 3 steps is a lot of work for me ^_^), but these look good enough to try out. Soft peanut butter and chocolate…mmm. Congratz on the Top 9 today!

  13. I make these all the time! I got the same recipe from a gigantic King Arthur Flour cookbook. Your pictures definitely do them justice!

  14. In the ingredients list you have 1/2 cup peanut butter for the dough, but in the instructions you have 1/4 cup. I wasnt sure which direction the typo went, so I went with the 1/4 cup and ended up with dry cookies. Tasty, but dry. I understand since you doubled the original recipe but forgot to double the peanut butter in the cookie dough instructions. Still a great recipe that I know will be a big hit with my family:)

    • Ack, that was definitely a typo, 1/2 cup is the correct amount. Sorry about that! I fixed the directions. Thanks for letting me know!

  15. MMmm…yeah….peanut butter middle…

  16. I totally am in your same boat! I love love love to bake sweets to post on my blog..but my ass doesnt agree with my decision!

  17. Simply delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  18. These look so good – chocolate and peanut butter are one of my favorite combinations! I feel your pain with wanting to bake, but not wanting to have it around the house! When I bake, I leave a few pieces home, and bring the rest to work. My co-workers love me, and I don’t have to worry about finishing off leftovers!

  19. Yummy!!!
    I made mine last night. I found that using a thin cookie sheet works best as it lets the heat travel through the dough. The ones baked on the thicker cookie sheets were browned on the bottom but the tops didn’t get that nice golden color. They taste good though.

  20. Tasty morsel of the day: Magic Peanut Butter Middles Recipe

  21. Hi, Emily. I’d like to bake them for my kids. But I’m afraid of so much sugar. Almost 3 cups for entire recipe. Ain’t they too sweet? Could the sugar be cut?

    • I didn’t find these cookies to be too sweet, but I have a major sweet tooth. I’ve read that you can pretty safely reduce the amount of sugar in recipes by 1/4 -1/3 cup. I wouldn’t cut any of the sugar in the filling since that’s really the most important part, so try reducing the white sugar/brown sugar in the cookie dough, maybe to 3/4 cup of each? I do worry that will make the cookies too dry, but it’s worth a try! Just assemble the cookies as fast as you can so they don’t crack when you flatten them. And you could skip dipping them in extra sugar at the end, too.

  22. My son and I was watching a TV show on a cooking/food channel and the show was about Peanut Butter. There was a story on a vegan bakery that made cookies just like these but they would not share how they got the PB in the center (classified info). My son and I were trying to figure it out and it looks like I was the closest…yay me! I look forward to making this recipe now that I know I won’t make a mess or mess up a perfectly good recipe and waste ingredients. Thanks

  23. I was wandering if you could freeze this? If anyone knows or has done this I would appreciate it if you could let me know, getting ready to start my Christmas baking soon 🙂 HAPPY HOLIDAYS & Have a Safe One… Thanks again.

    • Hi Joann,

      I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure but I think you could definitely assemble these cookies, freeze them and and bake them when you’re ready. You could probably also just freeze the chocolate dough and then make the peanut butter filling when you’re ready to assemble and bake the cookies.

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