Salted Peanut Butter-Stuffed Milk Chocolate Cookies

Chewy milk chocolate cookies stuffed with creamy peanut butter filling, topped with chopped peanut butter cups and sprinkled with salt.
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I wanted to post a Halloween-y recipe.  And apparently I can't separate cookies from this holiday. I've already done a Caramel Apple Cookie recipe and a different kind of Peanut Butter Halloween Candy Cookies (which, I may say, are also delicious - with crispy rice and a chewy peanut butter cookie base. Yum.)

This chewy milk chocolate cookes are stuffed or topped with a creamy peanut butter filling, studded with chopped Reese peanut butter cups (the best Halloween candy, obviously), and finished with a light shower of flaky salt. 

Boom. Seriously addictive cookies that make me wanna up and start a bakery.

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First, you make the peanut butter filling - simply peanut butter and sugar, and a pinch of salt if your jar is unsalted.  You drop the filling by teaspoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. 

Now you have choices: top or stuff? 

To put the peanut butter filling inside, you just start by flattening out the cookie ball until it's more than twice the diameter of the peanut butter "kiss". Then you just fold the cookie dough up over the filling, pinch it shut a bit, then roll the ball between your palms again.  

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The only important thing is keeping the filling very cold (I keep it in the freezer as I work, pulling out one "kiss" at a time as I need it) and keep the dough fairly chilled as well (if it's getting to sticky to work with, just pop the dough balls back in the fridge for 10 minutes). 

Stuffing the cookies is by no means difficult, but doing a thumbprint indent and topping with the peanut butter kiss instead is a bit easier (and just as delicious, just a bit less of a novelty).   

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Keep in mind that the dough needs to chill before baking it so allow an extra hour to refrigerate it before baking (or make the dough and filling a day in advance). 

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  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • about 24 cookiesServings

Ingredients

For cookies

  • 10 oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3.4 oz (3/4 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • flaky salt, for topping (optional)

For peanut butter filling

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt, only if pb is unsalted

Preparation

To make filling: Stir together peanut butter, sugar and a pinch of salt (if using) in a small bowl. Drop by 24 teaspoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. 

To make cookie dough: Heat chocolate in a double boiler (or a large heat-safe bowl set over a pot of simmering water) until about 90% melted.  Remove from heat and stir to finish melting completely. Stir in sugar and salt while still hot, then allow to cool 5 minutes.  

Slowly add a couple of tablespoonfuls of the chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs while whisking constantly to temper them (prevent them from curdling).  Then gradually stir the egg mixture into the remaining chocolate batter along with vanilla extract.  

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to chocolate mixture and stir well to fully incorporate.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 48 hours).  

To make cookies, shape dough into 1 1/2" balls.  To stuff them, flatten the ball, place a ball of frozen peanut butter filling in the center, then fold the cookie dough up over it and pinch shut. Roll between palms to form a nice ball again.  Top with a few pieces of chopped peanut butter cup and a sprinkle of salt.  Repeat with remaining dough. 

Place cookies 2" apart on parchment-lined baking sheets (they spread quite a lot and will stick if no parchment!) and freeze for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375ºF (this reduces their spreading). 

Bake 8-9 minutes, until crackled at edges and still slightly underdone in centers.  Cool a few minutes on baking sheet before transfering to wire cooling racks.  Be sure to cool baking sheets (I just run them under cold water - I've never had too much warping occur as a result) between batches as warm sheets will cause the cookies to spread too quickly.