Peanut Butter Middles

img_4841Since we are smack-dab in the middle of cookie season I had to bring out the big guns: chocolate and peanut butter. This recipe for Peanut Butter Middles has to be one of my all-time favorite holiday cookie recipes. I suppose they can be eaten all year long (and trust me, you will want to make them all year long) but I typically reserve this cookie recipe for my favorite time of year. This cookie platter standout may take a little more elbow grease than others but they are soooo worth the time and effort that go into making them. Just make sure you hide a few for yourself or you may wake up to an empty cookie box in the morning!

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Peanut Butter Middles

Yields 25 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ tsp. basking soda
  • ½ sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Colored frosting for decorating (optional)
Filling:
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup sifted powdered sugar
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Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Roll filling mixture into 25 – 1 inch balls and place on a plate or cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Place the peanut butter balls in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate dough. (This step will make it easier to share the chocolate dough around the peanut butter centers.)
img_4840In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda. In a large mixing bowl, beat brown sugar, sugar, peanut butter, and butter until light and creamy. Add in the vanilla and egg and beat well. Remove the slightly frozen peanut butter balls from the freezer. Using lightly floured hands, shape about 1 tbsp. of chocolate dough around each ball of peanut butter, covering the peanut butter completely. Place cookie balls 2 inches apart on parchment paper or silpat-lined cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, flattening to about ¼-inch thickness. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating.
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