Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups
Chewy chocolate cookies with chopped peanut butter cups. Delicious and easy– perfect treat for chocolate and peanut butter lovers. Recipe makes 18-24 cookies and freezes well.
I love a lot of flavor combinations but chocolate and peanut butter may be the ultimate because it’s a classic, delicious mix of sweet and slightly salty. Next time you want a great chocolate cookie, chop up some Reese’s peanut butter cups (or Trader Joe’s, Justin’s, etc) and add them to the dough.
These chocolate peanut butter cookies are perfect if you like chewy cookies without the crunch of chocolate chips. Some of the peanut butter cups will swirl right into the dough, while others will remain visible.
The dough takes less than 10 minutes to make, goes in the fridge for a while, then bakes in 10 minutes. You can also freeze scooped out dough for later (when you want cookies on a whim for movie night). Next time you have leftover Reese’s (if that happens?), give this cookie recipe a try!
Ingredients for Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups:
- Brown and granulated (cane) sugar
- 1 stick of butter (let sit on the counter 1-2 hours before making dough)
- An egg (let sit on the counter 1-2 hours before making dough)
- Dry mixture: Flour, cocoa powder, baking soda + baking powder, salt
- Vanilla extract
- 1 cup of chopped peanut butter cups (8 regular sized Reese’s, or 6 ounces)– this works great with dark chocolate cups, too!
Why Refrigerating Cookie Dough is Important:
This recipe calls for an 8 hour chill before baking. Refrigerating cookie dough ahead of baking helps with a few things. It’s worth the extra effort!
- Easier to work with– unrefrigerated dough is warmer and can be more difficult to scoop evenly. Chilled dough can be scooped evenly for symmetrical and ‘perfectly round’ cookies
- Develops deeper flavor– some will mellow out, like salt; some will be more pronounced (cocoa, vanilla), sweetness comes out
- Butter (or fats) will solidify– this helps the butter melt evenly when baking, resulting in a chewier cookie with crisp edges.
- Dry ingredients are absorbed– helps make a cookie less crumbly
If you really don’t want to wait 8 hours (or overnight) for cookie dough to chill, at least let it chill in the fridge an hour or so before baking. Even one hour in the fridge will make a better cookie!
Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped peanut butter cups = 6 ounces
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Roughly chop the peanut butter cups and set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer (or a stand mixer on medium-low), cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until fully combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the flour mixture and mix by hand with a spatula until just combined (no streaks of flour remain). Avoid overmixing.
- Stir in the chopped peanut butter cups to distribute. Add dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for 8 hours (or up to 3 days).
Bake the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, scoop chilled dough and place 2 inches apart on a lined or non-stick cookie sheet.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes, until edges are set and tops just begin to crack. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.
- Store baked cookies for 4 days in an airtight container.
- Cookies are best when chilled at least 8 hours, but can be baked right away if desired. They will be less flavorful, a little more crumbly and may spread more.
- To freeze cookie dough: scoop chilled dough into portions and par-freeze on a lined cookie sheet for a few hours, then place in freeze safe bags or container. Cookies can be baked as instructed above from frozen– you may need to add 2 minutes to bake time. Use frozen dough within 3 months.
If you like adding peanut butter to baked goods, try it mixed in to my Chocolate Banana Bread.