Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Mini Peanut Butter Cups

Did any of you have a hard time figuring out what to get your significant other/friend/family/lover for Valentine’s day? If you’re in a relationship, it can be a day fraught with pressure, and gifts may or may not be loaded with meaning. I don’t have the time and energy to worry about the formulaic expectations of this Hallmark holiday, so I give my husband the kind of gift that I most like receiving myself—food.

This recipe may be a couple of days late, but luckily, it’s not a particularly Valentine-y dessert. It’s not heart-shape, extra-fancy or filled with raspberry ganache (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Though it’s not pulled from the pages of the February issue of a food magazine, it was the perfect Valentine for my husband because it combines his two favorite things: peanut butter and chocolate.

I decided to combine his two great loves into one fabulous cookie because my mom sent us these adorable mini peanut butter cups she saw in Trader Joe’s. If you live in a community that has its very own Trader Joe’s, I am deeply jealous of you. We don’t have them in Florida, so mom sent these versatile little cuties all the way from Southern California. I thought they would be a great substitute for chocolate chips in a cookie. After extensive chocolate cookie research, I decided to use this recipe from because it was incredibly simple; promised fudgy, chewy cookies; and got loads of great reviews from members.

These cookies are addictively, wonderfully chocolatey with slightly crisp edges and chewy centers. The chocolate part of the mini peanut butter cups fuses into the cookie, and the centers turn into melting pockets of peanut butter goodness. You do not need mini peanut butter cups to use this fantastically simple cookie recipe. Use chocolate chunks, peanut butter chips, nuts, chocolate-covered espresso beans, or whatever you want!

Mike really liked the cookies, but I’ve eaten plenty of them too. When you give a gift of food, whether it is something homemade or dinner at a favorite restaurant, it’s kind of like giving yourself a little gift at the same time. We foodies really have this love stuff figured out.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted from It is important that you use natural cocoa powder in recipes with baking soda, like this one. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is made with an alkali that only reacts properly with baking powder. Dutch-processed is not better or worse cocoa, just different. Read more about it here.

Makes 36-48 cookies

2 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. unsweetened natural cocoa powder (such as Ghirardelli or Hershey’s)
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 to 2 ½ c. mini peanut butter cups, peanut butter chips or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.

In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combined and fluffy.

Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture with a wooden spoon until all the flour is moistened. Stir in the chips or your additions of choice.

Drop heaping teaspoons of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should get about 12 cookies per large baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until just set. The cookies may look slightly under done, but they will firm up and the edges will crisp as they cool. I like to do a test by baking 2 or 3 cookies first to see how they will turn out in my oven. It takes extra time, but I hate to ruin a whole tray of cookies. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Patricia Scarpin said...


I'd be jumping up and down, singing at the top of my lungs if I received a gift like this!

The cookies look delicious - I was looking for a good choc chip cookie recipe to bake some cookies for my husband's nieces and I think I have a winner. ;)

Rachel said...

These look great. Hershey also makes mini reese's cups for baking.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Aw, Julie, just the little mini peanut butter cups have me in a thight hold. Somebody or something is force feeding them to me. I I make them into cookies, I'll never be able to move again. Those look so wonderful!

Peabody said...

Mmmmm, my husband will love these.

Kristen said...

My husband would love these too. Those look fantastic!

Brilynn said...

Why didn't anyone make those for me????

Anna said...

We don't have Trader Joe's here either.


Tim said...

I love peanut butter cups and have a peanut butter cup/slice recipe that I am going to have to share!

Lis said...

Those look to die for. Hubbs would go crazy over them. Between these cookies and that onion tart below - you've had me drooling constantly. hehe

Freya said...

There is no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate!

Julie said...

Hi everyone,
Thanks for your comments and I hope you had a great Valentine's Day! Rachel, I didn't know Hershey's made mini cups for baking...I've never seen them! It would be nice to be able to buy them whenever I want. I'll have to investigate.

This recipe really is too delicious for how easy it is. Since I gave him the cookies, my husband has eaten one or two before every meal. I like his dessert first philosophy. Must be nice to have his metabolism!

Meena said...

Ohh!! These look simply delicious! Perfect for my strong chocolate craving right now!

Anonymous said...

hey! i recently made chocolate pb cookies too! i didn't include the mini pb cups from trader joe's though, which is an ingenious idea i will be using the next time i make them! thanks!

Ida said...

I made these cookies last week and brought them to work. Everyone loved them and kept asking for the recipe! I will definitely make these cookies again and again and again =)