I’ve never been a big cookie maker. I usually only eat one or two (even fresh out of the oven – don’t disown me) and I’m pretty sure I know no less than 15 women who love baking 25x more than I do. Nevertheless, we had guests over one night and these manifested themselves from what I had in the pantry. They were so heartbreakingly delicious that they were instantly added to the “make-on-every-occasion-including-Christmas” list. Very barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Prep Time: 30 min | Cook Time: 8-10 min | Yields: about 24 cookies

Filling Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • Two pinches of flaky sea salt

Chocolate Exterior Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • a few tablespoons of turbinado sugar, to press into the tops of the cookies

Directions (almost word-for-word from Smitten Kitchen)

Make filling: Line a small tray with parchment paper (so the peanut butter doesn’t stick). In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, white sugar, and salt with a fork; it’s a little messy but it will come together. Once evenly mixed, use a teaspoon measure to scoop heaped teaspoons of filling into little balls. Spread them out on prepared tray or plate. Once you’ve used all the filling, put the tray in the freezer while you make the cookie portion.

Preheat oven to 350F

Make cookies: Pulse flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and sugars in food processor until mixed. Cut cold butter into chunks and add to bowl. Run machine until fully blended. Add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla and run machine until it is blended, scraping sides down as needed, and then keep running until dough balls together.

Assemble: Place 1 to 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar on a small plate. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Take a scoop of cookie dough that’s 2 tablespoons and place it in the palm of your hand. Flatten it with your other palm. Take a peanut butter filling from the freezer and place it in the center, and wrap the chocolate dough around, rolling it in your palms until smooth. Press the top of the cookie in the turbinado sugar, place it on your prepared baking sheet and gently flatten the cookie, just slightly, with your fingers. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake: For 8 to 10 minutes. This is going to seem like really little time, and the cookies are definitely going to look underbaked, but remember that we are just baking a thin outer shell of a cookie (the center doesn’t need to be baked), and this does not take long. Let cookies rest and set up on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool.


  • On using a stand mixer, dutched cocoa powder and powdered sugar (I didn’t have any) in the center of the cookie, see Deb’s original post.