Reese's knew what they were doing when they came up with their classic peanut butter cup candies because, as the results of my recent poll show, chocolate and peanut butter are people's favorite flavors.
I've done a Peanut Butter Cup cookie before, but this guy is a new twist--literally--on an old favorite by turning the cookie inside out. In this iteration, there's a peanut butter "shell" stuffed with chocolate. Yummy!
For the cookie's exterior, I used my signature peanut butter recipe--the same one I used for my PB & J(onnie), a jelly-stuffed peanut butter cookie. Regular readers know by know that I squeeze as much flavor into my cookies as possible by using as many flavor sources as possible. For my PB cookie recipe, I took some advice from Cook's Country magazine and used ground-up Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch cereal. I also used smooth peanut butter and peanut butter chips. The ground-up cereal adds a rich peanuty flavor without drying out the cookie, which is what happens when you use a lot of peanut butter straight out of the jar.
The stuffing recipe, however, was a little more complicated. Originally, I was going to stuff each dough ball with a rectangle from a Hereshey bar. But I have enough experience making stuffed cookies to know that the chocolate would likely melt quickly in the oven and "bleed out," completely defeating the purpose of stuffing these guys to begin with. And I figured that even if the cookies didn't leak during the baking process the chocolate would be too hard/crunchy once any nonleaking cookies had cooled off completely. My solution: use cream cheese as a "stabilizer" to make the chocolate thick enough not "bleed out" while baking and soft enough to enjoy at room temperature. I think I owe myself a pat on the back for that one!
My stuffed cookies are among my tasters' and readers' favorites. (See here and here.) The process of making one of these cookies is a little complicated, but believe me: It's so worth the effort. Check out this step-by-step video and these step-by-step instructions.
3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups ground Peanut Cap'n Crunch cereal
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 cups peanut butter chips
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Put the semisweet chocolate chips and milk in a small bowl and microwave for 30-40 seconds. Stir together so that the chips are evenly melted.
- Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the melted chocolate/milk mixture and stir until there are no lumps. Let the mixture cool and solidify in the freezer until step 8.
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In your Kitchen Aid or a large mixing bowl, cream together the creamables.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and then add to the creamables. Mix together until smooth.
- In another large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold together until evenly distributed. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamables and wet ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
- Shape dough into balls—about 2 tablespoons each.
- Remove the filling mixture from the freezer and stuff each dough ball with 1 teaspoon of the mixture. Put the stuffed dough balls in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up.
- Place chilled dough balls about 2 inches apart on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.