Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

I was hit with a wave of nostalgia when I happened upon this recipe from Everyday Food. My mother used to make a very similar sweet treat. She took the quick and easy route, using refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough baked in mini muffin cups. Then, she would press a peanut butter cup into the center when they came out of the oven.

I, too, have made that version many times. However, it seems to be next to impossible to find refrigerated cookie dough that doesn’t have trans-fats. So, I’ll be sticking to this slightly more involved recipe from now on.

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies are soft peanut butter cookies with a peanut butter cup right in the center!

One of my favorite aspects of these cookies is the coating of sugar each cookie gets before they are baked. It really ups the sweetness and gives them a little something extra.

I shared a batch of these with my co-workers, and the quickly emptied container told me that they were a hit. Luckily, I managed to save a few for us and for photographic purposes. They are definitely a must-bake for all you chocolate and peanut butter fans.

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies


  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, for rolling dough
  • 36 mini peanut butter cups, chilled and unwrapped


Preheat oven to 350°.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, mix peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined.

Scoop dough by tablespoons and roll into balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar to coat completely. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

Bake about 7 minutes, or until cookies begin to puff slightly. Remove from oven, and press one peanut butter cup in the center of each cookie. Bake for about 6 minutes, or until golden brown and chocolate has begun to melt.

Cool 10 minutes on pans. Then, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Note that cook time is per baking pan.

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food.

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  1. Cherie October 15, 2008 Reply

    I saw those in Everyday Food too and was drooling over them. Unfortunately my husband has a mis-placed palate and doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate together! Right?! I know.

  2. Jackie October 15, 2008 Reply

    Hi Jennifer

    Is that a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the center of the cookie.

  3. Katie October 15, 2008 Reply

    I opened my google reader and All I saw was a huge peanut butter cup. This looks amazing.

  4. Sandie October 15, 2008 Reply

    Too bad my mother-in-law just left. She would have gone wild over these. Maybe I’ll send her some… (she even bought a huge bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups while she was here!)

  5. zestycook October 15, 2008 Reply

    WOW – Now this is heaven….. I love this! Great post….

  6. Vibi October 15, 2008 Reply

    I love, love, love…
    It’s printed and ready to go, as soon as I find those mini pb cups.
    Mmmm what Chrismas treat those are going to make!
    Great pics by the way…

  7. Katrina October 15, 2008 Reply

    Your photos are always amazing.
    My sister-in-law just made these over last Christmas, but she used a pb cookie mix ( :( ) and the regular size Reese’s cups. They were good, but I couldn’t believe she didn’t home make the dough! Gonna have to try these.

  8. Culinarywannabe October 15, 2008 Reply

    Chocolate and PB is the ultimate combo. I grew up with the whole PB cookie and chocolate kiss combo, but the Reese’s sounds delicious!

  9. Jenn's Baking Chamber October 15, 2008 Reply

    Love it!! I always look forward to your recipes, especially because your pictures are so great! Peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best combinations, thanks for the post!

  10. sara angel October 15, 2008 Reply

    so simple and yet so delicious.

  11. Amy October 15, 2008 Reply

    Holy crap. I think I’ll have to make these tonight!

  12. gingela5 October 15, 2008 Reply

    Oh I love these! Yummy!

  13. amyp October 15, 2008 Reply

    Okay, are you ready?

    Use the peanut butter blossom recipe, but instead of kisses, hide a Nestle treasure inside (I use caramel). They melt inside the cookie – it is hands down my husband’s favorite cookie. At Christmas, we call them Santa’s hidden treasures, but have numerous different (and bawdy) names for them for other times of year.

  14. Bunny October 15, 2008 Reply

    I’ve seen the refrigerated cookie dough recipe but much prefer this one, thanks!

  15. JEP October 15, 2008 Reply

    MMmm…all the brown sugar surely makes ’em good & chewy…yum!

  16. Nan (and Jim) October 16, 2008 Reply

    Love these! Anything with peanut butter is a hit with us for sure. I do remember Mama making these for us, and I have always loved them! Thanks for sharing with us. They were great!

  17. Jennifer October 16, 2008 Reply

    I saw these too and wanted to try them, now that I know that they are fabulous, I will give them a try! They look amazing!!!!

  18. Maggie October 16, 2008 Reply

    Aw, I love these!

  19. jennifer October 16, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, everyone! :-)

  20. megan October 16, 2008 Reply

    reese’s are my favorite candy so of course these are gonna be my favorite cookies! i love these things-now i’m gonna have to go make some :)

  21. Andrew October 16, 2008 Reply

    Good for you for staying away from trans fats! If only every consumer could be as knowledgeable as you!

  22. Kim October 17, 2008 Reply

    Jennifer, these look so good. I just made a batch of peanut butter buddy bars for my grandson. They got lost by UPS so had to be tossed. I am going to do a remake and send these to him this week. Your recipe will certainly more than make up for his disappointment. Thanks!

  23. ingrid October 17, 2008 Reply

    That looks heavenly! The “cookie” part so nice and soft! Funny thing is that I don’t really like either one, peanut butter or chocolate on its own but put them together and something wonderul happens, YUM!

  24. Amber October 18, 2008 Reply

    This gives me the warm fuzzy’s. My mom never made them but it is what I imagine childhood is like in a perfect world.

  25. Katelyn October 18, 2008 Reply

    Oh goodness I feel like an 8 year old all over again! My mom would make these with a Hershey’s Kiss instead of a peanut butter cup. I’ll just have to make a batch of each to see which my husband and I prefer! =)

  26. the caked crusader October 20, 2008 Reply

    what an utterly enticing photo! It borders on cruel!

  27. Morgana October 20, 2008 Reply

    Delicious! I would like to try but it is quite difficult to find reesies here in Spain. I’m thinking about using something different instead, maybe some “typical spanish” sweet but I don’t what :-(

  28. Nick October 20, 2008 Reply

    Now these are right up my alley! The sugar coating makes all the difference. I’m convinced that if you took 2T of sugar out of any cookie recipe and sprinkled it on top of the cookies instead, it always ends up tasting sweeter.

  29. kelli smith October 22, 2008 Reply

    This is one of my favorite recipes to make.

  30. Dawn November 21, 2008 Reply

    This happens to be one of my favorite to make now as well….too bad those little peanut butter cups are so expensive!!! You are my new best friend, I am SO happy that I stumbled across your blog while looking for a recipe for garlic knots! Thanks for sharing :)

  31. Sherry January 4, 2009 Reply

    these look so GOOD!
    im going to try them, as soon as i can get my hands on some reese cups. xD

  32. Amazing Cheesecake Recipes February 18, 2009 Reply

    I think my mom made these cookies every year for the holidays. I continued the tradition with my own family and they always disappeared very quickly. They are delicious just out of the oven when they are still warm and the chocolate and peanut butter are soft and melted…delicious with a glass of milk!

  33. Marisa@make*happy December 9, 2009 Reply

    Ooh…I’m making these Christmas week. I can’t wait.

    I’m linking, too…I love your blog!

  34. Vonda November 7, 2011 Reply

    OOOh…these take me back to my childhood! I loved these cookies…thank you so much for the recipe. I’m going to make these for my friends and give as Christmas gifts. Can’t wait to start baking :)

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