A chocolate peanut butter cup, in cookie form! These chewy chocolate peanut butter cookies (a dough made in one bowl, with just a whisk) are filled with a smooth, sweet & salty peanut butter filling.
I’m not sure who first invented the magic in the middle cookie; the earliest version of these I can find is by PJ Hamel & Susan Reid, but there’s also mention of it elsewhere as a clipping from an older magazine.
My introduction to them was simultaneously from Deb and KAB (KAB’s is also a PJ Hamel recipe). Almost all the recipes you can find for these online are quite similar in terms of ingredients and quantities (save Deb’s which has more cocoa in the cookie); and they result in a soft but thick cookie, with a mix of powdered sugar and peanut butter inside (as you would when making homemade peanut butter cups).
I love a peanut butter chocolate combo but the standard magic in the middle cookie as it’s been made so far has always left me a tad dissatisfied. Instead of thick and a bit cakey like, with a thick almost dry filling, I wanted a cookie base that was more fudgy and chewy, with a smooth almost melty middle.
You may note that this chocolate monster cookie dough is very similar but instead uses all purpose flour and I’ve changed up the leavening a bit so they will have more power to spread against that peanut butter & chocolate dough.
Peanut Butter: It’s really important to use a commercial brand of creamy peanut butter (the oil should not have separated). I use Jiff Natural or Skippy Creamy. Other brands may give you a slightly different cookie than pictured (some have more sugar).
Flour: All purpose flour of at least 11% protein content. I use KAB AP.
Cocoa: Dutch process cocoa. I like Hershey’s Special Dark, Ghirardelli’s Dutch, or Rodelle’s Dutch. And if you can get it, Guittard makes a heavenly Cocoa Rogue.
Maple Syrup: To sweeten without thickening the peanut butter layer I add maple syrup. You could also use honey. If you wanted to leave it out for a pure pb layer that’s fine too.
While traditionally made with peanut butter (by tradition I think it’s been no more than a decade) you could use another nut butter like sunflower butter or cashew butter.
Also yes, you can totally just stuff a peanut butter cup in there!
Share & tag me on instagram @buttermilkbysam