Chocolate Peanut Butter Stuffed Cookies {Magic in the Middle Cookies}

These chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies are incredible! Easy enough to make for an after school snack but amazing enough for a showstopper dessert.

stack of chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies with top cookie broken in half

Meet one of my favorite cookies ever. These chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies with that magical surprise center are both fun AND delicious.

And thanks to a little rolling trick, they aren’t hard to make at all! If the chocolate peanut butter combo is your thing, these cookies are a must-make.

They are very much reminiscent of a peanut butter cup…in cookie form. 

stack of three baked chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies

I’ve been making these cookies for years, and they are always a hit. We also call them Magic in the Middle Cookies.

Totally unassuming on the outside, if you spied them on a cookie tray, you might think “eh, chocolate cookie, been there, done that.” <–I’ve personally never had a thought like this ever cross my mind; there is always room in my heart for chocolate cookies

But they are far more than just your average chocolate cookie! That super soft, sugar-crusted chocolate cookie dough surrounds a sweet peanut butter filling that may be a bit of a surprise for people who don’t know what’s going on.

Talk about the best of all surprises!

stack of chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies with top cookie broken in half

Chocolate Cookie Dough

The chocolate cookie dough is pretty basic and comes together in a snap. The only real unique aspect is the touch of peanut butter that’s included in the cookie dough.

It’s mostly chocolate with just enough peanut butter to tie all the flavors together.

Also, I 100% always double this recipe (in my Bosch mixer). The cookies freeze great. And they go fast. You don’t want to be caught with too few chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies.

chocolate cookie dough in bosch mixer

Peanut Butter Filling

The 2-ingredient peanut butter filling comes together about as quickly as you imagine. Take care, though, too quickly and you’ll probably have powdered sugar exploding everywhere. 

Don’t go crazy. Just get the sugar and PB mixed together until super smooth. And then try not to eat it all before rolling it up in the cookies.

peanut butter filling in glass bowl

Two Scoops

To make my life easier, I use cookie scoops to portion out the dough. 

  • One scoop of chocolate cookie dough (#40 medium cookie scoop) – about 2 tablespoons
  • One scoop of peanut butter filling (#60 small cookie scoop) – 2 teaspoons

Using these scoops, I get about 2 dozen cookies per batch. 

small cookie scoop with peanut butter filling and bigger cookie scoop with chocolate cookie dough

How to stuff the cookies

It’s about as simple as it looks and sounds!

Flatten the scoop of chocolate cookie dough into a rough disc shape. Plop the scoop of PB filling in the center and roll the chocolate cookie dough up and around the filling.

Once the filling is entirely enclosed, roll the chocolate cookie dough into a smooth shape. 

step-by-step showing how to roll chocolate cookie dough around peanut butter filling

The most important part

Recruit a very dedicated, very diligent, very hard working assistant to roll the filled cookie dough balls in granulated sugar. 

This takes precision and excellence, so don’t settle for sub-par help. Only the best will do!

rolling chocolate cookie in granulated sugar

Flatten the cookies

Take a flat-bottomed drinking glass and gently press the cookie dough balls until they are about 1/4-inch thick (or thereabouts). 

If the glass is sticking to the cookies, lightly grease the bottom with cooking spray. 

pressing chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies with glass dipped in sugar

The cookies will puff in the oven and the sugar on the top may disappear. Both scenarios are a-ok!

Once the cookies cool, they’ll flatten and might even wrinkle a little on top. The key is to not over bake. If anything, err on the side of under baking. 

We want these chocolate PB cookies to be ultra-soft!

pressed and baked chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies on parchment paper

Freezing Cookies

Once cooled, these little stuffed cookies freeze great! I double layer them in a gallon-size ziploc bag or in a tupperware-type container. 

Truthfully, unless you, like, six times the batch, you may not have enough to freeze. They go fast…and they are always a hit! 

For chocolate peanut butter fans, these cookies are a no-brainer! Exciting enough for holiday cookie plates and show-stopper potluck offerings, they are equally as fun on your average Tuesday afternoon. Just because!

stack of chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies with top cookie broken in half

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Stuffed Cookies {Magic in the Middle}

Yield: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 44 minutes
stack of chocolate peanut butter stuffed cookies with top cookie broken in half

Ingredients

Chocolate Dough:

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (2.25 ounces) creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) granulated sugar (plus extra for dipping)
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Peanut butter filling:

  • 3/4 cup (6.75 ounces) peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. For the chocolate cookie dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a handheld electric mixer and a medium bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt and mix until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and the egg and egg yolk and mix well. Add the flour and cocoa powder and mix until no dry streaks remain and the dough is well combined.
  3. For the peanut butter filling, in a medium bowl, mix the the peanut butter and confectioners sugar together until smooth (by hand or with an electric mixer).
  4. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the chocolate dough (I use a #40 cookie scoop) and flatten into a thick disc shape. Place a heaping teaspoon of the peanut butter filling (I use a #60 cookie scoop) in the center of the chocolate dough disc.
  5. Bring the chocolate dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together cover the center. See pictures in the post for a visual. Roll the cookie lightly in the palms of your hand to form a smooth cookie dough ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  6. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
  7. Grease the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass and flatten each cookie to about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, just until lightly set - you want them soft. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Freezing: these cookies freeze great. I let them cool completely and then stack in a double layer in a gallon size freezer ziploc bag.

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Recipe Source: adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour Blog
Recipe originally published December 2008; updated February 2020 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.

Magic in the Middle