These chocolate peanut butter cookies are lovely little bites of tender cookie stuffed with a creamy peanut butter filling. Chocolate and peanut butter are a perfect pairing, especially when the cookies get rolled in sugar.
Adapted from King Arthur Baking Company | The King Arthur Baking Company Essential Cookie Companion | Countryman Press, 2021
Reminiscent of a chocolate peanut butter cup candy (or a buckeye, if you’re into homemade candies), this recipe is one that’s been making the rounds for years. We guarantee these will disappear in a snap, whatever the audience—from hungry kids after a soccer game, to your coworkers gathered around the office coffeepot.—King Arthur Baking
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies FAQs
If you’re making this dough ahead of time, add an extra 2 tablespoons of milk to the chocolate dough. It tends to dry out as it sits, and the extra moisture will keep the outside dough from cracking as you form the cookies.
The most reliable way to make sure you have equal amounts of filling and chocolate dough is to use a cookie scoop. A teaspoon scoop yields exactly 26 fillings when scooped with the dough level across the top. A tablespoon scoop, when filled level, will yield exactly 26 chocolate blobs of dough to match.
We couldn’t agree more, they’re darn good. Go ahead and double the recipe, just add an extra egg to the chocolate dough to keep it moist.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
For the dough
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the baking sheets
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
For the filling
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the coating
- Granulated sugar
- Butter for shaping
Make the dough
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly butter (or line with parchment) two rimmed baking sheets.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or, if using an electric hand mixer, in a separate medium mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.
Make the filling
- In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. With floured hands, roll the filling into 1 teaspoon-sized balls.
Shape the cookies
- Break off 1 heaping tablespoon of the dough, make an indentation in the center with your finger and press one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation. Bring the dough up and over the filling, pressing it closed. Roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
- Spread some granulated sugar on a plate. Dip the top of each cookie in the sugar and place it on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Butter the bottom of a drinking glass and use it to flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch (12-mm) thick.
- Bake the cookies until they’re set, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove them from the oven and cool completely on a rack.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These chocolate peanut butter cookies are fantastic cookies that taste as good as they look. A surprise centre is always impressive.
I found the easiest way to make these was to prep both the dough and the filling. For the dough, I made 30 one-tablespoon balls using a cooking scoop and 30 one-teaspoon balls of filling. I flattened out the dough into a disc and then wrapped it around the filling. I thought it was going to be finicky but the dough was easy to work with and once you get going they come together fairly quickly.
These chocolate peanut butter cookies have moved to the top of my cookie list. I’ll take (or bake) a chocolate chip cookie any day, but give me a little time, and it’ll be these ones. Chocolate and peanut butter are about the best combination on Earth, in my opinion, and baking the two into a cookie that manages to be light, with a nice crisp on the outside and chewy inside is genius.
The cookie dough comes together easily and is easy to work with, which is good when you have to cover the peanut butter balls. The peanut butter inside came together quickly too. I didn’t need to flour my hands to make the peanut butter balls. It took a few cookies to get a method down to easily get the peanut butter ball surrounded by cookie dough.
I used the flat side of my meat pounder to flatten the cookies and that worked out great…no buttering the surface and no sticking. I was worried that the peanut butter would ooze out when I flattened the cookies but that didn’t happen. I love the sugar coating too…that helped lend that nice crisp to the finished cookie.
These chocolate peanut butter cookies have a good flavor and people who don’t know that there’s some peanut butter in the middle were pleasantly surprised.
The recipe uses many ingredients that people have in their pantry already. For example, I used up some cocoa that my daughter had brought back with her from school. The only issue might be that forming the dough around the balls needs to be done quickly because the peanut butter starts to stick to the chocolate dough part pretty quickly. Something was pretty dry about the filling for me; if you find the filling dry, you can add some peanut oil (or other flavorless oil) to moisten it a little.
I had often wondered how one could put a filling inside of a cookie without it spilling out in an unsightly mess, much less taste delicious. This recipe hits the mark for both beauty and taste and was deemed “uniformly excellent” by my local testers, who raved from the first bite to the last. The recipe is technically simple and comes together quickly, requiring no special steps or ingredients, and consists of a somewhat plain chocolate cookie and a quick fondant of 1:1 powdered sugar and peanut butter. The small amount of peanut butter (1/4 cup) in the cookie doesn’t add much flavor but probably adds to its chewy/crisp consistency. The cookies keep well, and might even improve on days two and three. They are not what I would consider a “casual” cookie in the sense that they are quite filling and would be a welcome pick-me-up on a hike or bike ride.
Originally published December 21, 2021