If someone tries to tell you their favorite treat is a reese’s peanut butter cup, tell them to hit the road. That is not peanut butter and chocolate. It is a dry crumbly peanut butter imposter dipped into a waxy faux-chocolate faker trying to leave your mouth disappointed and ruin your day.
Dramatics aside, if you’re going to do peanut butter and chocolate together, do it right. Your taste buds will thank you. This recipe comes from one of my favs, Smitten Kitchen, with just a few tweaks of my own.
There are three steps standing between you and heaven.
First off, make the filling. Lining a plate or cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a bowl, combine peanut butter, powdered sugar and salt with a rubber spatula. It’s basically impossible to measure out peanut butter in a measuring cup (at least for someone as impatient as me). Use a kitchen scale to save yourself angst – this one is tiny and oh so useful. Put a little elbow grease into it – the peanut butter is stubborn but important to combine evenly. Using a teaspoon or small kitchen spoon, scoop out mixture into small balls on parchment, and pop into freezer.
Next, move onto the cookies. Using hand or stand mixer, beat room temp butter, peanut butter, and sugar until creamy and fully mixed. Add in the vanilla, egg, salt and beat an additional 30 seconds. Sift in baking power and cocoa, mixing 30 seconds more. Add flour until fully combined, scrapping the sides as necessary.
Assembly line! Fill a small bowl with granulated white (or brown!) sugar, set aside. Remove peanut butter balls from freezer. Line two cookies sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper. Portion out some dough using a spoon or cookie scoop (cue the ever-useful #40 scoop) and flatten into a disc. Place a peanut butter ball in the center, and wrap the dough around the ball until fully covered, rolling gently between palms to smooth out edges. Dip into bowl of sugar and gently toss to coat. Place on cookie sheet and press just enough to give it a flat top.
Bake cookies. Pop trays into the oven for 8-10 minutes or until cookies have just a slight give to the touch. Remove from oven a let rest for 5 minutes before moving to cookies rack to completely cool.
Store: At room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. But let’s be real… they won’t last that long.
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- 2/3 cup (170 grams) creamy peanut butter
- 2/3 cup (80 grams) powdered sugar
- Two teaspoons of flaky seas salt
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, plus more to coat cookies
- 1/2 cup (95 grams) dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (65 grams) creamy peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (55 grams) cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat oven: To 375 degrees F.
- Make filling: Line a plate or cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt with a rubber spatula, until evenly combined. Using a kitchen spoon or teaspoon, scoop the mixture into balls on the parchment, spacing about 2 inches apart. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.
- Using a mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter, peanut butters, and both sugars until creamy. Add vanilla, egg, and salt and beat for 30 seconds. Sift the baking powder and cocoa powder, and beat 30 more seconds. Add flour and mix until evenly combined, another 30 seconds. Scrape sides down as necessary.
- Assemble cookies: Fill a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of white or brown sugar and set aside. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Using a #40 cookie scoop, portion out dough and shape into a disk in the palm of your hand. Place a peanut butter ball into center of disk and roll dough around it until covered, using the palms of your hand to smooth. Drop dough into sugar and toss to coat. Place on prepared sheet and press gently to flatten the top. Repeat with remaining dough. The cookies will not spread, so you can place them close together.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies give just slightly to the tough. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely.
- Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- I find it far easier to weigh peanut butter than to measure it out in a measuring cup, so this is where a kitchen scale becomes your best friend.
- Creamy peanut butter works best here. If you're using a "healthy" natural peanut butter, make sure the oils haven't separated before you scoop it out. (if they have, give the jar a good stir before using).