Peanut butter blossoms get an upgrade in these adorable peanut butter cup cookies. What sets this recipe apart (other than the mini peanut butter cup candies) is a little extra peanut butter and light brown sugar. The extra nut butter ensures a wonderful texture and can’t-miss peanut flavor.
An extra dose of brown sugar does a few things: it adds a caramel undertone that brings out the peanut flavor, creates a wonderful chew, and provides moisture that keeps the cookies from drying out. A generous amount of salt rounds out the dough, ensuring that the cookie itself is not overly sweet and balances well with its peanut butter cup center.
There’s truly no bad time to make these nutty little cookies. They’re easy enough to whip up at a moment’s notice, making them a tasty option for a last-minute treat. They also store well in an airtight container, so you can make a batch and keep them on the counter to grab throughout the day for a sweet pick-me-up.
The Best Peanut Butter for This Recipe
The best peanut butter for these cookies is creamy peanut butter in the style of Skippy or Jif. This no-stir, shelf-stable type of peanut butter yields the best flavor and texture and provides just the right amount of moisture and fat.
Chunky or crunchy peanut butter also works in this recipe. However, if a bit of peanutty texture is what you’re aiming for, the chunks in the peanut butter end up being very minimal and not noticeable in the finished cookies.
Natural peanut butter will work in a pinch with a few caveats. First, the best way to swap natural for no-stir creamy brands is by weight—and don’t forget to give it a good stir first. When testing with natural peanut butter, I noticed the dough and cookies were a tad drier. I suggest baking the cookies closer to 8 minutes than 12.
Tips for Making Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
- Use room temperature butter and egg. Room temperature ingredients incorporate more easily. If the butter is cold, it will require more mixing to smooth out the mixture, which can incorporate too much air and yield a drier cookie.
- Don’t overmix the dough once the flour mixture has been added. Over-mixing can lead to tough cookies.
- Have your mini peanut butter cups prepped and ready to go. Although slight cracking is okay and expected, the longer you let the cookie cool before adding the peanut butter cup, the more the top will crack. For quick assembly, unwrap the candies before the cookies come out of the oven.
Try a Different Candy
Other candies that would be scrumptious in these cookies include:
- Chocolate-covered caramels or caramel cups, such as Rolos
- Plain chunks of chocolate
- Chocolate kisses
- A piece of Snickers for a serious textural explosion
Make These Cookies Ahead
The dough can be made, portioned out, and stored in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, prepare the mini muffin pan and oven as described in the recipe. Bake the cookies from frozen—they may need an additional few minutes of baking time.
Peanut Butter Lovers Rejoice!
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
This recipe yields 24 to 30 cookies. Dough that has been divided into 24 portions will yield cookies that have a slightly higher ratio of cookie to peanut butter cup, and dough that has been divided into more portions will yield cookies with a slightly lower ratio of cookie to peanut butter cup.
Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing the pan
1 1/3 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup (180g) creamy peanut butter, such as Skippy or Jif
6 tablespoons (84g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup (70g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 to 30 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat. Lightly spray the cavities of a nonstick mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the dry ingredients:
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.
Cream the peanut butter and butter:
Add the peanut butter and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer. Beat together on medium speed until fully combined and creamy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stop and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. The mixture will be loose and on the thinner side.
Add the sugars, egg, and vanilla:
Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the bowl and beat on medium speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until thickened and fluffy, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat together on medium speed, scraping as needed, until fully incorporated and the mixture is lightened and creamy, about 15 seconds more.
Add the flour mixture:
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low, scraping as needed, until just combined with no dry bits of flour remaining, about 20 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to give the dough one good stir, scraping the bottom of the bowl, to ensure everything has been fully combined.
Portion the dough:
Using a 1 1/2-inch scoop or tablespoon, divide the dough into heaping tablespoon portions to yield 24 larger portions or up to 30 smaller portions of dough. Use your hands to roll each portion into a ball.
Place a ball of cookie dough into each cavity of the prepared mini muffin tin. Do not press the dough down.
Bake the cookies:
Bake the cookies, rotating halfway through baking, until they are golden, puffed slightly, and the tops are matte and dry to the touch, 8 to 12 minutes. It’s okay if the cookies are just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges, but the tops should not be deep golden brown (or they are overbaked).
While the cookies bake, unwrap the mini peanut butter cups.
If you’re baking more cookies than fit in your mini muffin pan and you only own 1 pan, bake them in batches. Wipe out any crumbs and re-spray the pan to prevent burned bits or sticking.
Finish with the mini peanut butter cups:
Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire rack. Immediately, while the cookies are still hot, press an unwrapped mini peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie.
Let the cookies cool in the pan until they are slightly set up and cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.
Cool the cookies:
Carefully, holding the top of a cookie, twist to release it from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. If you find the cookie to be delicate or the chocolate is moving around, allow the cookies to cool an additional 5 minutes in the pan.
Serve completely cooled or still warm while the peanut butter cup is melty.
Leftover cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container in a single layer or stacked with a piece of wax or parchment paper between the cookies for up to 4 days.
Love the recipe? Leave us stars below!
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 22g||28%|
|Saturated Fat 12g||59%|
|Total Carbohydrate 19g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|