Magic-in-the-Middle Cookies (Peanut-Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies)

These rank as the most fun cookies I have ever made (and probably tastiest). You bite into them and “Surprise!” Creamy peanut butter deliciousness wrapped with deep chocolate flavor. I never imagined I could make a treat with something hidden inside. These types of cookies always seemed like the fancy store-bought designer cookies. But no, I CAN make them and they come together fairly easily. And the taste? Outta this world with the chocolate/peanut butter combo. It almost tastes like a Reese’s candy.

You are forewarned: These are highly addictive. Like I-ate-too-many-and-couldn’t-stop-myself-and-now-I-feel-sick kind of addictive. I gave away a bunch after eating too many but saved a few. I hadn’t taken pics yet for the blog, and the following day it took mega willpower to keep away from the cookie jar until I had taken some photos. The cookie jar is now empty as I hang my head in shame. But they were darn good! I totally understand why they are named “Magic-in-the-Middle”–very apt.

Magic-in-the-Middle Cookies

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INGREDIENTS

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder (optional but it intensifies the cocoa flavor)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for dredging
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 8 tbsp. (4 oz. or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Filling

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter, sugars, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until combined.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients; mix until combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
  8. Shaping the cookies: With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.
  9. Scoop the chocolate dough into 26 tablespoon portions. Flatten each portion into a disc, then place a peanut butter ball in the center. Place the disc in the palm of your hand and begin folding the edges up, keeping the peanut butter ball in the middle. Pinch the edges closed, then roll the dough between your palms to make a ball.
  10. Place some sugar in a shallow bowl, and roll each cookie in the sugar. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Using your hand or the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.
  11. Bake at 375 degrees F for 7-9 minutes or until the cookies have set. Remove from oven, cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Tips from King Arthur Flour:

When doubling the recipe, add an extra egg to the chocolate dough.

When making the dough ahead of time, add 2 tbsp. milk to the chocolate dough, for it tends to dry out as it sits. The extra moisture will keep the outside dough from cracking as your form the cookies.

SOURCE: adapted from The Galley Gourmet who adapted from King Arthur Flour

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