Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups

As the holidays draw nearer, I find myself on a baking kick trying to find some good cookie recipes to add to my repertoire. This particular recipe was inspired by walking down the candy aisle at the store and stumbling across a box of mini peanut butter cups. My brain immediately jumped to the thought of me eating them in a bowl of milk like cereal, and I had to stop and tell myself that it probably wasn’t one of my most brilliant ideas. However, they were small enough that I could use them in a baking project, and so I happily justified purchasing them. 
My original intent was to make peanut butter thumbprint cookies with a peanut butter cup filling the centre, and I set out to find a simple recipe that would showcase the peanut buttery goodness that was coming. This post so far is short and I’ve already said “peanut butter” so many times, I’m going to be peanut buttered out by the end of this. See? I did it again. Peanut buttering myself into a sticky oblivion by my excessive use of peanut butter. Gets addictive, I tell you. I may have a problem.

Anyways, back to the cookies. This recipe consists of a simple five ingredient list, six including the chocolate cups. I have always preferred peanut butter cookie recipes without the flour because I like them to be a little crispier than other cookies. The original recipe I found yielded 24 cookies, but I was too lazy to measure out half my jar of peanut butter so I doubled the recipe, used the whole jar and made 48 cookies.

I used a full 500 gram jar of organic peanut butter – the kind where the oil separates from the peanut butter and there are no other ingredients except for peanuts. I find when the cookie recipe calls for peanut butter as the main ingredient and there is no flour, it is better to splurge and use the organic kind. There is some kind of magic that makes my cookies come out better when I use the peanut butter where the oil has separated. Don’t ask me why, because all I know is the cookie fairies make my cookies turn out perfectly every time.
The other good part about this recipe is that everything is done in one bowl, and mixed by hand with a wooden spoon. No need to bring out the mixers, or multiple bowls. This is simple, pure, peanut butter cookie roots we’re getting back to, people. 

Using my trusty cookie scoop, I spooned out tablespoon sized balls of dough and set them about two inches apart on the baking sheet – 12 per sheet – and prepared two pans, flattening each ball as I went. Using the handle of the wooden spoon, I made an indentation in each ball to get the “thumbprint” and popped them into the oven for 12 minutes. While they were baking, I took the peanut butter cups and cut them in half so you can see the chocolate coating with the peanut butter insides and set them aside. The cookies were ready when I noticed the golden edges because I wanted a crispier cookie. Working quickly while they were still warm on the sheet, I used the handle of the spoon to push the indent down again since the cookies puffed up a bit while they baked, and placed one half of the peanut butter cup into each cookie. Once the 24 cookies were done, I transferred them to wire racks to let them cool and let the chocolate melt into the tops of the cookies.
The second batch I wanted to do something a little different so I flattened the pre-scooped balls and placed half a peanut butter cup inside. I then rolled the balls with my hands, covering the chocolate completely and placed it on the cookie sheet. Once all the cookies had chocolate inside and were sitting on the pans, I flattened them slightly with the back of my spoon and placed them in the oven. This time, I baked them for only 10 minutes because I wanted them to be slightly softer than the first batch so the inside was gooey with the chocolate. They came out with crispy edges but a softer middle, so when you broke them in half while they were still warm, the chocolate oozed into a ganache-like texture.

If you feel like peanut butter and prefer cookies that are a little crisp rather than soft and chewy, try this recipe out. They are extremely rich because of the amount of peanut butter used, but are pretty to look at and make your house smell divine as they are baking. Although I added the peanut butter cups because I had them on hand, these would take equally as delicious being baked without them, or even with chocolate chips. Either way, if you love peanut butter, you’re going to love these cookies.

Neurotic Peanut Butter Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups
1 500g jar of organic peanut butter (only ingredient listed should be peanuts)
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
24 mini peanut butter cups, halved

1.       Preheat oven to 350.
2.       In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar, eggs, baking soda and salt. Mix by hand until combined.
3.       Drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet, approximately two inches apart. 12 to a standard cookie sheet.
4.       For thumbprints: Using the end of a wooden spoon, make indentation in centre of each cookie the size of the peanut butter cup.
For chocolate centres: Flatten each ball of dough and place peanut butter cup half into centre of each. Roll into ball until chocolate is completely covered by dough.
5.       Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are golden.
6.       Remove trays from oven and transfer cookies to wire racks for cooling.
For thumbprints: Use spoon to recreate indentation as cookies will have puffed while baking. Quickly place a peanut butter cup half into indentation before transferring cookie to wire rack for cooling.

Makes 48 cookies.


Laura P said...
January 10, 2011 at 12:23 AM

These look delicious!

sweetone said...
January 10, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Though not a chewy cookie by any means (there's a good crisp to them), they're pretty awesome.

My roomie says they're the best peanut butter cookies she's ever eaten!

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