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Monday, May 17, 2010

Magic Peanut Butter Middles: Appendix

The Magic Peanut Butter Middles recipe generated a lot of comments, including questions and additional tips. I think this recipe needs an appendix, so here we go!

chocolate peanut butter middles appendix web

The cookies pictured are in fact the cookies I made following the recipe exactly as I listed it. They came out perfectly for me. My friend Michelle made the same exact cookies following the same exact recipe/steps and hers came out perfectly as well…even better than mine, I’ll admit! So, let’s get down to business with the questions.Β Jenny D’s comment sums up several of the questions well, so I’m just going to share it directly with you:

“I saw your post and knew I had to make these cookies today. But I think I did something wrong, maybe my dough was too dry or something. When I flattened the cookies with the cup, the dough cracked all over to expose the PB filling. I’m sure they will still taste good, but I would appreciate any tips!”

In my experience, the dough is not too dry. I will admit that it’s a little tricky getting the chocolate to wrap around the peanut butter all the way, but it CAN be done.Β I flattened out my chocolate dough balls pretty thin, then wrapped them around the peanut butter balls. Since I’m not a robot and my dough and peanut butter balls weren’t all exactly the same size, I did have a few that cracked when I got the chocolate wrapped around the peanut butter. When that happened, I just redistributed the dough and smooshed the cracks away. Does that even make any sense?!?! I hope so!

Once you’ve got the chocolate dough successfully wrapped around the peanut butter filling, it’s time for more smooshing. I think a few people had trouble at this point with the chocolate dough cracking and exposing the peanut butter once the cookies were flattened. If that happens, just pick it up and smoosh around the chocolate dough again so there aren’t any cracks. Smooshing is a good thing, so smoosh away!

You may be thinking, are these cookies worth all this trouble? YES THEY ARE! And once they are baked, the ratio of filling to cookies is perfect.

Reader Sarah said she added 2 Tbsp of sour cream to the chocolate dough and that the cookies came out well. I think this is a great tip…although, I’ve gotta tell you all, one of the reasons I love this recipe is because I think the texture of the cookie itself comes out perfectly, so I personally will continue to just work with the dough as is. The cracking is simply a ratio issue, not really because the dough itself is too dry.

Reader Steph asked about the texture of the filling, so here’s my answer: the PB filling is not too sweet, is moist enough, and is simply delicious. πŸ™‚

Here are a few more good tips that came from readers!

  • Shanda mentioned that you can spray the bottom of the glass with pam, then dip in sugar, then smash the cookies down. Mindy said you just need to smash a few of the cookies down first to get enough grease on the bottom of the cup, then dip in sugar. A couple people said they dip the glass in water, then the sugar. My favorite solution? Cady rolls the entire cookie dough ball in sugar! Lots of great tips! My original suggestion of flattening the cookies then dipping the tops in sugar also worked very nicely.
  • Cady sprinkled a bit of salt on the top and said it was a great flavor contrast…and I believe her! Sounds like something worth trying, especially if you’re a salty-sweet fan!

Thanks for all your questions, comments and tips! I love it!


  1. 1

    Try these with Trader Joe’s peanut butter–it’s like the PB inside of a Reese’s PB Cup! AH-mazing!!!

  2. 2

    Would you stop posting this recipe!! I resisted it last time around and was able to stop thinking about it after a couple of days. Now it’s back and my resistance is wearing thin!!! They look way way way too sinful but I just may have to make them tonight πŸ™‚

  3. 3
    Jane Maynard

    melissa – I will definitely try that!

    katie – I love torturing you all with irresistible sinful food! it’s fun πŸ˜‰

  4. 4

    Oh. My. Holy. Heck.

  5. 5

    I’m not sure if someone told you this already, but these cookies were featured on the King Arthur Flour blog, and there were some hints and tips. For example, scooping all the peanut butter centers up and freezing slightly to harden them up. Also, adding 2 Tblsp milk to the chocolate mixture if it seems a bit dry.
    I haven’t made them yet, but am going to make this week.
    They look yummy!

  6. 6
    Jane Maynard

    I didn’t see that…and I love King Arthur Flour! here’s the link, with step-by-step photos!

    this recipe is ALL over the web…with good reason! I’m glad I finally came across it…it’s definitely one of my all time fave cookie recipes.

    thanks, lori!

  7. 7
    Jenny D.

    Thank you for the tips! I didn’t explain this in my original comment, but when I would flatten out the chocolate dough and begin to fold it around the PB filling, the chocolate dough would crack or even crumble — even before I smooshed it with the glass. It wasn’t as smooth and manageable as I thought it would be, which is the main reason I thought my dough was on the dry side. Sometimes the dough would crumble in my hand as I was trying to flatten it out. The cookies tasted great so I will be trying this recipe again!

    Quick tip: I am horrible at eye-balling proportions so for both the chocolate and PB filling, I flattened them out to a rough square and then used a knife to cut the dough into little squares (I think I ended up with 28 altogether). Then all I had to do was grab a chocolate cube, flatten it out (this is where I would have problems with the dough cracking/crumbling), and then grab a piece of the PB filling to wrap up inside.

  8. 8
    Jenny D.

    Just checked out the King Arthur Flour site and found a couple solutions to my dry dough issue. Also, I think I will buy a cookie scoop for next time!

  9. 9
    Jane Maynard

    jenny – love your comments! thanks!!! πŸ™‚ (I like how you divided the dough – great idea!)

    I think I need go get a cookie scoop myself…I’m in the same scoopless boat!

  10. 10

    I made these cookies for the first time earlier today. They came out really great, and everyone loved them.

  11. 11

    How would u substitute the unsweetened coca for melted chocolates chips can’t seem to find a recipe using the melted chips instead

    • well, you want to make sure the chocolate you use is UNsweetened. the substitution of cocoa for baking chocolate is 1 ounce baking chocolate = 3 tablespoons cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon butter. So…the recipe calls for 1/2 cup cocoa powder. so you could try doing 2 1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate and cut the amount of butter by 2 1/2 tablespoons. However, I have no idea if that will work, but seems safe to try. as I mentioned, you do not want to use regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, you need unsweetened baking chocolate. hopefully that is helpful!

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