Magic in the Middle Cookies


Ingredients for Cookie Dough

1½ cups unbleached all-purposed flour (King Arthur)

½ cup unsweetened cocoa (Dutch-process or natural)

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup granulated sugar (plus extra for dredging)

½ cup brown sugar, packed

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup smooth peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 large egg


Ingredients for Filling

¾ cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

¾ cup powdered sugar



Preheat oven to 375°F, and lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.


To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another medium-sized bowl, beat together the sugars, butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.


To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop and roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.


To shape the cookies: Scoop 1 Tablespoon of dough (a lump about the size of a walnut), make an indentation in the center with your finger and pace one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edge together and covering the center. Roll the cookie in the palms of your hands to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about two inches between cookies. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, then use it to flatten each cookie to about ½-inch thick.


Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until they’re set, and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.



The most reliable way to make sure you have equal amounts of filling and dough is to use King Arthur’s teaspoon scoop and tablespoon scoop.


If doubling the recipe, add an extra egg to the chocolate dough (3 total).


If you’re making the dough ahead of time, add two tablespoons of milk to the dough. It tends to dry out as it sits, and the extra moisture will keep the outside dough from cracking as you form the cookies. 


via King Arthur

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