A thick, peanut butter brownie cookie that’s crumbly and tender with slightly crispy edges. In the center, a gooey peanut butter cup. Flaky sea salt on top is a must!
Ever since peanut butter blossoms flooded my feed in early December I’ve been trying to think of other ways to add candy to a cookie (that is not a Kiss because I don’t actually like those lol). A dark chocolate pb cup sounded perfect though. The idea behind a blossom cookie is that when it comes out of the oven, you press in the chocolate candy and the cookie cracks at the sides as it incorporates the new middle.
For this recipe I wanted the cookie to have the chocolate & peanut butter flavors in the cookie as well. I made these magic in the middle cookies ages ago and used that recipe as a template to get to mine. I use just granulated sugar here (tests showed me the brown didn’t add much to the flavor and got in the way of the texture I was after), and because I felt like the cookie itself lacked the fudgy flavor I wanted, I decided to melt a whole chocolate bar into the batter – it paid off in mounds. You’ll love these.
Ingredients for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Butter: butter can be cold for this recipe (yay!). If you are trying to make them dairy free, try a vegan butter.
Cocoa: Use a good dutch process cocoa. Natural cocoa won’t taste as rich here. Black could work but it might make the cookie a bit dry.
Sugar: Fine granulated here. If you have an inclination to reduce the amount of sugar, don’t do it by much (keep at least 80% of it). Remember sugar isn’t just for flavor, it gives the cookie structure.
Peanut butter: Smooth and not natural as the oil is usually separated in the natural butters. If you really want nuts, chop some peanuts and add them.
Peanut butter cups: I used the small dark chocolate ones from Trader Joes. Reeses sells a similar size called ‘miniature’. Bigger, regular sized cups will need you to scoop a bit more batter per cookie and to flatten them a bit to accommodate the larger size.
Fine & flaky sea salt: Fine goes into the cookie dough (fine helps it dissolve quicker, sea salt is not overly salty like table salt) and flaky goes on top. Flaky is’t necessary but it is GOOD here.
Flour: I use all purpose flour (KAF or GM). If you need this to be gluten-free a 1 to 1 substitute could work (the cookies miiiight spread a bit more but that’s fine).
Eggs: I haven’t tried making this recipe without eggs but if I were, I’d use a flax substitute.
How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
First, melt the butter and then the chocolate. You can do this in the microwave or over a double boiler. Mostly the chocolate will melt because of the heat of the butter but if the butter is not hot enough then return it to the heat to just melt.
Then add the sugar and peanut butter and whisk to combine. This will cool down the dough a bit and now you can add the egg and yolk. Whisk it then add the flour and cocoa, stir to combine.
This dough need not be chilled so you can move right from dough to scooping it onto a prepared cookie sheet. When the cookies bake they won’t spread but will firm up – this is what we want.
Once the cookies are out of the oven, wait a bit then press in the peanut butter cup. You want to wait until they are not too hot to touch but are still hot enough to melt the chocolate. Press them in just enough to get the bottom third of the pb cup in – any more and you’ll break the cookie.
Given a minute or two, you’ll press them in again – the bottom will be nice and melty and there will be more room for it without breaking the cookie. Once the top of the pb cup looks shiny (an indication it is soft and heated) press it the last time. The filling will ooze out and spread all over the cookie. Now while it’s still melty on top, fleck with sea salt.
FAQ on Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Does the dough need to chill?
Nope! As soon as the batter is mixed, begin scooping and pop the dough into the oven. These taste amazing as is and don’t need any flavor development. Chilling is sometimes used to bring a dough together (esp if it’s made with melted butter) but this dough doesn’t spread much so it isn’t necessary.
Okay but, I do want to chill them so I can make them ahead of time.
Right, well then I’d scoop them out onto a plate. Set it in the freezer until hard (about 10 minutes) then transfer them to a ziplock bag. You can put them in the oven frozen but you’ll want to add another 2-3 minutes.
Can I skip the chocolate bar?
You can… the cookie will be a lot less flavorful and drier. I don’t advise it.
Can I use a regular sized peanut butter cup?
Yes, the cookie will look and be a bit different: you’ll want to press it in probably only once (regular sized pb cups are thinner) and it will melt quicker. Might want to scoop the cookie dough a bit bigger too.
I’m allergic to peanuts, can I use a different butter and a different chocolate butter cup?
Absolutely, just be sure that the butter you use is not ‘natural’ or stir it really, really well.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
- ½ cup butter cold is fine, 113g
- 100 g chocolate chopped finely
- ¼ cup peanut butter 70g
- 1 cup granulated sugar 215g
- 1 egg plus 1 yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ cups ap flour 180g
- ½ cup dutch process cocoa 60g
- Flaky sea salt to sprinkle
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the chocolate and stir until it has melted (if it doesn’t fully melt you can return it to the microwave for another 20-30 seconds).
- Whisk in the sugar and peanut butter, then the salt, baking soda and vanilla. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk.
- With a rubber spatula, stir in the cocoa and flour until you have a cohesive dough. Use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion the cookies onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes.
- When the cookies are out of the oven, leave them for about 3-5 minutes. Then, press a mini peanut butter cup into the center, just halfway down. Wait another 5 minutes or so, then gently press down again. Some of the pb filling will ooze out, that’s good! Once the pb cups are almost level with the cookie and the top of the cup is soft and melty, sprinkle on some sea salt. Serve warm or at room temperature, they’re absolutely delicious at any state.